For several decades, US employers operating in Mexico (or anywhere else around the globe, for that matter) have been subject to – and, therefore, should be aware of – the tenets of the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (15 U.S.C. §78dd-1, et seq.) (“FCPA”). However, as of July 2017, US employers operating in Mexico must also be wary of the requirements of Mexico’s new anti-corruption legislation, the National Anti-Corruption System (the Sistema Nacional de Anti-Corrupción) (“NAS”), which coupled with the FCPA creates a multi-jurisdictional anti-corruption obligation for US businesses operating in Mexico. For those unfamiliar with the FCPA or the NAS, here is a brief primer on both laws.
Today, the French labor market experienced the start of a power swing, from its historically employee-friendly labor regime to a more employer-friendly set of laws, intended to provide employers with greater flexibility in the employee relations arena. Indeed, despite vigorous protests from labor interests, French President Emmanuel Macron today approved decrees to overhaul France’s labor laws, which should create a number of changes beneficial to employers across the country. If ratified by the French Parliament, President Macron’s sweeping labor reform, which is part of a larger plan to reinvigorate France’s economy and lower its near-10% unemployment rate, will install key changes for employers.
Beginning on October 1, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start phasing in the requirement for an in-person interview for anyone obtaining employment-based permanent residency. For almost the past 20 years, interviews of employment-based applications were generally waived as there was little value that local adjudication added to the process.
This year, India became one of the most generous providers of maternity benefits in the world when it extended the period of maternity leave available to eligible working mothers from twelve (12) weeks to twenty-six (26) weeks – a drastic jump. In addition to other changes, India introduced maternity benefits for eligible adoptive and commissioning mothers (the biological mother of a child carried by a surrogate).
President Trump has just announced his support for new immigration legislation aimed at curtailing overall immigration into the country. An original version of the bill was introduced earlier this year by Senators Tom Cotton of Arkansas and David Perdue of Georgia; the modified version of the bill is called Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy, or the RAISE Act. Trump announced his support for the bill today, noting that the current system “has not been fair to our people, to our citizens, to our workers.” The goal of the bill is to reduce legal immigration by 50%, which President Trump stated “will reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.”
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the United States has had a new president for about six months: Mr. Donald J. Trump. Many suggest (and I do not take a position on this) that President Trump was catapulted to success by certain attitudes on race, religion, and immigration. An important disclaimer – this is not a blog post about politics (there are plenty of those already). Instead, it is a blog post about how you, an employer, can avoid claims of race, national origin or religious discrimination in this new Trump Era.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that portions of the controversial Executive Order No. 13780, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” (known informally as the “travel ban”), should no longer be blocked from taking effect and should instead be enforced by federal authorities. It issued a partial stay of the injunctions issued by the 4th and 9th Circuit Courts of Appeal that had blocked it from going into effect over the past month, and also announced that it would hear arguments on the case in the October 2017 Supreme Court term (Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project).
Several weeks ago, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction that blocks President Trump’s second executive order attempting to institute a travel ban against those arriving from several specific Muslim countries (EO-2) from taking effect, largely basing its decision on a conclusion that the executive order violated the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals became the second federal appeals court to uphold the injunction blocking from the travel ban from taking effect, but this time basing the decision on a conclusion that the president exceeded his authority to act under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced earlier this week that it received 199,000 H-1B petitions for the FY 2018 H-1B cap. As usual, this far exceeds the total allocation of 65,000 general-category H-1B visas and the 20,000 advanced degree exemption H-1B visas for the FY2018 cap. However, this number represents a 15.7 percent decrease from the 236,000 petitions that USCIS received during last year’s filing period. It also represents the first time the number didn’t rise since 2013, demonstrating that employers are beginning to re-think their use of foreign skilled labor, most likely because of the administration’s pointed comments about immigration matters.
It has been fewer than 100 days since Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States of America. In this short time, there has been a flurry of immigration-related activity, which has caused the national conversation on immigration to reach a fever pitch. While discussions about “sanctuary cities” or the “travel ban” are certainly worth having, only one of the topics de jour has the potential to have an immediate impact on your workforce: ICE raids. Advanced preparation and proper response are key to ensuring that your business does not become part of the conversation.