President Trump Signs Executive Order Temporary Suspending Many Employment-Based Visa Categories: See Alternative Options

On Monday June 22, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending the issuance of visas in certain nonimmigrant (temporary) worker categories through the end of the calendar year 2020, extended an existing temporary ban on certain permanent visa categories through the end of the year, and ordered government agencies to investigate possible further work …

USCIS Resumes Premium Processing and Reopens Field Offices in Phases

On March 20, USCIS announced the temporary suspension of Premium Processing for all Form I-129 and I-140 petitions due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).  On June 1, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.  https://youtu.be/KM5K5yhgmNc Watch our video …

Bill Introduced to Provide Another 40,000 Immigrant Visas to Healthcare Workers for Doctors and Nurses Due to COVID-19

On May 5, 2020, Senators Perdue (R-GA), Young (R-IN), Cornyn (R-TX), Durbin (D-IL), Coons (D-DE), and Leahy (D-VT) introduced S.3599, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, which seeks to enhance the healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 global pandemic by recapturing 40,000 unused immigrant visas for doctors and nurses. The number of visas available shall be the …

40% of Laid off Employees Won’t Be Re-hired. What Will You Do If You’re One of Them?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released unemployment data on May 8 showing that the U.S. economy lost over 20 million jobs in April, and the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7 percent, the worst since the Great Depression. However, due to the way the reporting was calculated, this number is estimated …

H-2B Visa Update: DHS Relaxes Rules to Help Soften Covid-19’s Impact on Food Supply Chain

The Department of Homeland Security announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2B requirements in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The current Administration enacted a temporary change to rules on H-2B guest workers to help beleaguered meatpacking plants keep those foreign employees in the United States as the companies deal with absenteeism …

La Escasez de Conductores de Camiones Puede Resolverse Mediante Tarjetas Verdes (“Green Card”) por el Visado EB-3

Durante los últimos 15 años, Estados Unidos ha experimentado una grave escasez de conductores de camiones disponibles y calificados. Según un informe reciente del grupo de la industria de camiones más grande de la nación, las American Trucking Associations (ATA), a fines de 2018, la industria tenía pocas posiciones de 60,800 conductores. La ATA predice …

¿Cómo Afectará COVID-19 a las Reclamaciones de Indemnización Laboral (Workers’ Compensation) en California?

El 6 de mayo, el gobernador de California Gavin Newsom impuso una nueva orden que impone la carga a los empleadores en las reclamaciones de compensación de trabajadores (workers' compensation) debido a Covid-19 que es retroactiva al 19 de marzo. Los trabajadores que SE ORDENA QUE: Se presumirá que cualquier enfermedad relacionada con COVID-19 de …

Visas H-2B Para Conductores de Camiones Locales Durante la Escasez de Conductores

por Abogada Jennifer Grady Se espera que la escasez de camioneros en EE. UU. se duplique en la próxima década a medida que la industria lucha por reemplazar a los conductores que envejecen y reclutar más mujeres. El déficit del conductor aumentó a 60.800 personas en 2018, lo que representa un aumento del 17% respecto …

H-2B Visas for Local Truck Drivers During Driver Shortages

The U.S. trucker shortage is expected to more than double over the next decade as the industry struggles to replace aging drivers and recruit more women. The driver deficit swelled 60,800 in 2018, which was a 17% increase over the prior year, according to a study by the American Trucking Associations. What if there was …

How Will Covid-19 Affect Worker’s Compensation Claims in California?

On May 6, California Governor Gavin Newsom imposed a new order putting the burden on employers in worker’s compensation claims due to Covid-19 that is retroactive to March 19. Workers who contract COVID-19 while on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation. The Governor signed an executive order that creates a time-limited rebuttable presumption for …

Do California Employees Have to Wear a Face Covering When Returning to Work?

by Jennifer Grady, Esq. Now that employees are returning to work, many employers may wonder whether employees are required to wear face coverings in the workplace. The answer may depend on where your employees are located, and whether they are considered "essential workers." As of this writing, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that …

RETURN TO WORK UPDATES TO COMPANY POLICIES & EMPLOYEE HANDBOOKS

Now that some states and counties are allowing employees to return to work, even in a limited capacity, employers need to consider how their workplace will be different due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.   The following topics should be addressed in a revised Employee Handbook or Coronavirus Addendum to the Handbook. Policies longer than a few …

What Can a Visa Holder Do if It’s Impossible to Leave US Due to Covid-19 Before Lawful Status Expires?

If a person in non-immigrant status in the US does not leave the country before his or her period of authorization expires, he or she would be considered out of status, and may begin accruing unlawful presence in the United States. However, what if the alien cannot leave the US due to travel restrictions in …

Telecommuting Employees May Be Reimbursed for Phone and Internet Use During Covid-19; Other Work-from-Home Recommendations

Since January 1, 2016, California employers must reimburse employees for use of their personal cell phones based on the decision in the landmark cell phone reimbursement class action case, Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Services, Inc. In addition, under Labor Code section 2802, employees must be reimbursed for "all necessary expenditures or losses incurred by the …

Get it Before It’s Gone! A Summary of SBA Loan Programs

While many businesses are struggling to stay afloat due to the effects of forced business closures resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, there are fortunately several options for business owners to keep their businesses operational. The following is a summary of the loan programs that are available from the US Small Business Association in partnership with …

Overview of the COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the "FFCRA"), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020, provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19. The FFCRA gives businesses with fewer than 500 …

Mitigating the Coronavirus Impact on the Workplace- Employer Obligations and Government Benefits

While it seems like we are receiving updates by the minute from the government, news organizations, and businesses that are closing, it is important for employers to stay calm to weather the emotional and financial storm that is spreading around the world. However, very few articles and news reports are addressing ways to mitigate the …

How Immigration Issues are Affected by COVID-19: Students, Detainees, and Travel Ban

While the entire world is feeling the effect of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), individuals who are affected by immigration may have particularly pressing questions as to whether their cases will continue to be adjudicated, detentions will be made, foreign students will be able to remain on a student visa, and the effects of the travel …

Webinar 03/05/20: How Will The California AB-5 Law Affect The Event Planning Industry?

In the the biggest piece of employment news in the last year, on September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law A.B. 5, solidifying a tighter standard of rules for classifying a worker as an independent contractor. The new standard, known as the Dynamex standard, codifies and expands the earlier California Supreme Court decision, Dynamex Operations West, …

ATTENTION: New Form I-9 Released On January 31, 2020 by USCIS

This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020 On January 31, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the newly updated Form I-9.  All U.S. employers must properly complete the Form I-9 for each individual they hire for …

Expanded Legislation for Lactation Accommodations in California

In 2019, California lawmakers passed several employment laws seeking to further extend benefits and protections in the workplace to California workers. In addition, some added a greater defense against discrimination and harassment in the workplace and to provide adequate accommodations and treatment to women who are lactating mothers.In this blog, The Grady Firm will explore …

USCIS Announces New H-1B Registration Process Starting March 1, 2020

On December 6, 2019, USCIS announced that it is implementing an electronic registration requirement for petitioners seeking to submit H-1B cap-subject petitions. Employers seeking to file FY2021 H-1B cap-subject petitions, including those eligible for the advanced degree exemption, must first electronically register and pay an associated $10 fee for each electronic registration they submit to …

Court Grants Temporary Restraining Order to Pause Enforcement of AB5 Against Motor Carriers

There is some potential good news for California employers, especially in the motor carrier industry. On December 31, 2019, Judge Benitez of the United States District Court, Southern District of California, ruled that the California Attorney General, Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, CA Department of Industrial Relations, CA Labor Commissioner, and …

Uber and Postmates Sue CA to Challenge New AB5 Legislation that Effects CA’s Growing Gig Economy

On Monday, December 30, 2019, Uber, Postmates, and two drivers filed a lawsuit against the State of California, seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions, in an effort to fight AB 5, which went into effect on January 1, 2020. The two companies, along with Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash, have also put more than $100 million into …

How Can I Complete an I-9 Form for a Remote Employee?

When hiring a new employee, or converting an employee from an independent contractor to an employee, the company must complete an I-9 form in person, within three days of hire, to establish the employee's authorization to work in the United States. For remote employees who are far from the nearest office, this can pose a …

USCIS Raises Premium Processing Fee to $1,440 on December 2, 2019

The USCIS final rule increasing the premium processing fee for Form I-129 and Form I-140 from USD $1,410.00 to $1,440.00 takes effect December 2, 2019. Applications postmarked on or after December 2, 2019, must include the new fee. The premium processing fee will increase to $1,440 for Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, and …

Why Should You Hire a Lawyer Instead of Doing it Yourself?

In the age of the "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY) mentality, entrepreneurs who are resourceful and eager to cut costs may attempt to perform legal work themselves by using the Internet as a resource for sample agreements, forms, and answers to their legal questions.  While the Internet is an amazing tool and the great equalizer, it is no …

What You need to Know about Converting Independent Contractors to Employees under California AB-5 – #GIGeconomy

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law A.B. 5, solidifying a tighter standard of rules for classifying a worker as an independent contractor. The new standard, known as the Dynamex standard, codifies and expands the earlier California Supreme Court decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. It  replaces the former Borello test, and …

Changes to the H-1B lottery and New $10 Registration Fee

WASHINGTON—On November 7, 2019, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a final rule that will require a $10 non-refundable fee for each H-1B registration submitted by petitioning employers, once it implements the electronic registration system. The registration fee is part of an agency-wide effort to modernize and more efficiently process applications to live or work …

Listen to our Podcast on Strategies for Responding to Requests for Evidence (RFEs) from USCIS

Join Beverly Hills immigration attorneys, Jennifer Grady, Esq. and Anthony Mance, Esq. as they share tips and insight into how to prepare a winning RFE response that will stand out and position your application for an approval. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released new data confirming that employment-based immigration applications have seen a sharp increase …

BREAKING NEWS: Many Workers Now Classified as Employees, Not Independent Contractors

On September 18, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law A.B. 5, codifying a tighter standard of rules for classifying a worker as an independent contractor. The new standard, known as the Dynamex standard, codifies and expands the earlier California Supreme Court decision, Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. It  …

Deadline Changed on Time to Comply with California Anti-Harassment Training

On September 3, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 778 to extend the deadline for employers to complete their Sexual Harassment Prevention Training. The deadline has been extended by a full year, from January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The new bill also allows covered employers who have provided anti-harassment training in …

Jennifer Grady Navigates Tricky Legal Situations in the Workplace on AutoVitals Digital Shoptalk Radio

On September 4, 2019,  Jennifer Grady, Esq. was featured on episode 31 "Legally Speaking: Handling Tough Legal Situations" of The AutoVitals Digital ShopTalk Radio, with host Tom Dorsey, to discuss a myriad of legal situations that can arise in a workplace from Sexual Harassment to record-keeping and what new business owners and employers need to know to …

Client’s Corner: Avoiding the Delays of a Request for Evidence When Filing an L-1A Petition

The Grady Firm recently filed an L-1A Intracompany transferee petition application for a corporate client, the U.S. subsidiary of a multi-national company with offices around the world.  This company was  seeking to transfer a high-level executive in the role of CEO to the U.S. subsidiary in new York. The L-1A visa allows multi-national executives to relocate …

Jennifer Grady Discusses How to Prevent Sexual Harassment Lawsuits “Remarkable Results Radio”

On August 9, 2019, Jennifer Grady, Esq. was featured on episode 456 of The Remarkable Results Radio, with host Carm Capriotto, to discuss Sexual Harassment in the workplace and what employers can do to prevent it. Key Talking Points During the radio show, Jennifer and Carm discussed important points on sexual harassment in the workplace …

Truck Driver Shortages May be Solved by Green Cards for Unskilled Workers (EB-3)

For the past 15 years, the United States has been experiencing a severe shortage of available and qualified truck drivers. According to a recent report by the nation’s largest trucking industry group, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), by the end of 2018, the industry was short 60,800 driver positions. The ATA predicts that this trend …

Client’s Corner: How I Got a Green Card Based on My Employment as a Skilled Worker (EB-3)

One of the ways to obtain a Green Card based on employment is through the EB-3 Immigrant Visa. The following is an overview of the process by one of our clients, Reza Moghtaderi Esfahani, who received his Green Card based on employment. "My application for Adjustment of Status was based on the EB-3 employment category. …

How to Obtain Temporary Hospitality, Retail, and Service Industry Workers Through the H-2B Visa Program

One of the biggest complaints in the hospitality, retail, and service industries is the difficulty in finding and retaining a reliable workforce. Over the past few years, there has been high turnover as companies struggle to recruit and retain workers. However, for employers who need to add to their workforce, there is the option to …

Sexual Harassment Training Requirements by State

As the #MeToo movement has grown over the past two years, and claims against powerful individuals continue to surface in the media and on social media, employers and companies need to adjust their response polices as one thing is clear: sexual claims are very real, very expensive, and very destructive. The following cases are real-world examples of …

How to Obtain Temporary Landscape Industry Workers Through the H-2B Visa Program

by Jennifer A. Grady, Esq. One of the biggest complaints from owners in the landscape contractor industry is the difficulty in finding and retaining a reliable workforce. Over the past few years, there has been high turnover as companies struggle to recruit and hold on to laborers. However, for employers who need to add to …

President Trump Unveils Sweeping Immigration Reform Plan

On May 16, 2019, during a speech in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump unveiled an ambitious “Bold Immigration Plan for the 21st Century” that would dramatically change the immigration law landscape in the United States. The multi-point plan calls for permanent funding and enhancement to border security, an overhaul of the nation’s …

12 Cities in California to Raise Minimum Wage Again on July 1, 2019

It's that time to update your payroll again! Twelve cities and counties throughout the state of California will again be updating their minimum wage. Until December 31, 2019, the current state-wide California minimum wage is $11.00 per hour for companies with 25 or fewer employees, and $12.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more …

Applicants for U.S. Visas and Green Cards Must Now Disclose Social Media Profile Information

In response to the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” of foreign nationals entering the United States, the U.S. Department of State has increased the amount of personal data foreign nationals must provide when applying for a U.S. visa abroad. Federal government agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), have dramatically expanded their social media …

Jennifer Grady, Esq. to Speak at Export Trade Assistance Partnership on Immigration in Today’s Global Economy on June 20

On June 20, 2019, Jennifer Grady, Esq. will be speaking at the Export Trade Assistance Partnership Program 2019 (ETAP) Session on International Shipping and Legal Issues covering export distribution considerations for US companies exporting abroad. This event is sponsored by the U.S Small Business Association and the Riverside County Economic Development Agency Office of Foreign …

U.S. House Passes Significant ‘Dreamer’ Immigration Bill with Potential to Grant Permanent Residency to 2 Million Undocumented Youth

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an ambitious immigration bill aimed at providing a path to citizenship to almost 2 million undocumented immigrants, including “Dreamers” who were brought to the United States as children.  This bill cancels and prohibits removal proceedings against certain aliens, and provides such aliens with a …

Don’t Wait Until Q4! Book Your Sexual Harassment Prevention Training by May 20 and Receive a Discount

California employment law now requires that employers with 5 or more employees provide one (1) hour of training to employees at least once every two years; and two (2) hours of training to managers within six months of hire or promotion, and every two years thereafter. This training must be completed by January 1, 2020, …