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Excerpts from the June 1, 2012, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin: ELIS Launches

ELIS Launch On Tuesday, May 22, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched the initial release of its new electronic immigration system, USCIS ELIS. ELIS is the agency’s first-ever online immigration system created to modernize the process for both filing and adjudicating immigration...

DOL Issues FMLA Guide

Last week, the Department of Labor issued the Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Guide . It's a helpful resource for employers and employees alike. Check out the flow charts! The guide is concise enough to serve as a quick reference, but detailed enough to touch on some of the finer points. For...

New regulatory initiatives: Next up, the Department of Labor?

The EEOC and the NLRB have taken significant steps in the past two years to advance issues that have been considered important to the administration of the respective statutes which they oversee. Now it may the turn of the Department of Labor to step up its activity. The DOL focused on the obligations...

Excerpts from the March 1, 2013, Bender's Immigration Bulletin

Supreme Court: Padilla Did Not Create New Rule: No Retroactive Application to Cases on Collateral Review On February 20, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Chaidez v. United States. The majority of the Court held that the decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356, is not retroactive for...

News Excerpts From the March 15 Bender's Immigration Bulletin

EOIR Releases Statistics for FY2012 The Executive Office for Immigration Review has released its statistical yearbook for fiscal 2012. As expected, the backlog of cases before EOIR continued to grow, with 326,255 pending proceedings before immigration courts and 24,824 pending cases at the BIA at...

Excerpts from the May 15, 2013 Bender's Immigration Bulletin

Interim Final Rule Issued on H-2B Prevailing Wages On April 24, 2013, the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security jointly published an interim final rule establishing a new method of calculating prevailing wages under the H-2B program. The new rule was issued in response to...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Overtime Issues Troubling the Energy Sector

By Lindsay M. Bouffard As a result of the expansion of oil and gas activities in the region and the increasing jobs associated with the expansion, the Department of Labor has been stepping up its enforcement initiative for oil and gas companies and related businesses. Because of this, it has become...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Employers Can't Shorten the Statute of Limitations for FLSA and EPA Claims

By Lindsay M. Bouffard Observant employers who have taken note of the Department of Labor’s increasing enforcement activity in the oil and gas industry may be looking for creative ways to limit their liability. However, a recent Sixth Circuit case makes it clear that trying to shorten employees’...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FMLA Misstep Proves Costly to Energy Employer

By Lindsay M. Bouffard An oil and gas support services company recently paid more than $43,000 in back wages and agreed to reinstate a terminated employee after a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation revealed the company terminated an employee in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act...

Extorted, Detained and Deported

"According to the Labor Department reports, Barreno was one of a dozen undocumented workers who had to pay fees just to begin work. The money was initially paid to Calix, who is a Honduran national, and then distributed in varying amounts between Calix, Ft. Pierce human services manager Mike Allen...

News Excerpts From the Feb. 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Issues Guidance on “Reason to Believe” Standard for Provisional Waivers | On January 24, 2014, USCIS issued field guidance for applications for provisional unlawful presence waivers (Form I-601A) filed by individuals with criminal histories. Under federal regulations, noncitizens...

News Excerpts from the March 1, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Federal Judge Certifies Class Action in Mandatory Detention Lawsuit On February 10, 2014, U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor certified a class consisting of noncitizens in Massachusetts who are challenging their mandatory detention under Section 236(c) of the INA. The class representative, Mark...

News Excerpts From the May 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Issues New Guidelines on Credible Fear Interviews On February 28, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued new guidelines for asylum officers charged with determining whether applicants possess credible fears of persecution or torture in their home countries. According to a memorandum...

Williams Mullen: New COBRA and CHIP Notices Highlight Affordable Care Act Marketplaces

B y Brydon M. DeWitt The Department of Labor recently issued updated model COBRA continuation coverage and Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) notices. Plan administrators should begin using the new notices immediately. The revised model COBRA notices address the availability...

News Excerpts From the June 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Report Highlights Economic Benefits of Public Defenders in Removal Proceedings A report released in late May by the global consulting firm NERA concluded that the fiscal savings to the government could well offset any costs associated with providing government-funded attorneys to indigent noncitizens...

HHS Urges Top Court Not To Grant Emergency Injunction During ACA Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The Supreme Court should deny a nonprofit Christian liberal arts college’s request for an emergency injunction of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate while it appeals an adverse ruling, the government said July 2 in...

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Pay Transparency Rule for Employees of Federal Contractors

While the proposed changes are not yet in effect and are subject to change following a public comment period, federal contractors and subcontractors to whom the rule would apply if finalized should stay abreast of the status of the rule. On September 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of...

News Excerpts From the Nov. 15, 2014, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program To Begin in 2015 On October 17, 2014, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Haitian beneficiaries of approved family-based immigrant visa petitions may soon be paroled into the United States approximately two years before their priority dates...

News Excerpts From the Jan. 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Labor Department Ends Use of Employer-Provided Wage Surveys for H-2B Program | Following a major decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Department of Labor announced that it will no longer issue prevailing wage determinations for the H-2B program resulting from wage surveys...

News Excerpts From the Jan. 15, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Procedures for H-2Bs Still in Flux | The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida enjoined the Department of Labor’s H-2B labor-certification rule of February 21, 2012, published at 77 Fed. Reg. 10,038. The injunction came in the case of Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services v...

SCOTUS on DOL Interpretations

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass'n. (opinion here) [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs and an enhanced opinion for this case]. The Court held that executive branch agencies (in this case, the Department of Labor) may revise their...

Department of Labor's "No Opinion Letters" Policy Reaffirmed

by John E. Thompson From the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's inception in 1938, employers sought, and officials of the U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division provided, official written explanations of how that law works in particular situations. These "opinion letters"...

News Excerpts From the April 1, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

H-2B Interim Final Rule Expected in April | On March 4, 2015, the federal district court in the Northern District of Florida vacated the Department of Labor's (DOL) 2008 H-2B regulations on the ground that the DOL lacks authority under the INA to issue regulations in the H-2B program. Perez v...

News Excerpts From the May 15, 2015, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Training Document on Particular Social Groups Made Public | A PowerPoint presentation apparently given to asylum officers at USCIS was made public in late April, providing insight into the agency’s handling of potential claims for asylum based on membership in a particular social group. According...

News Excerpts From the June 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Labor Department Will Streamline H-2A Process | On May 20, 2016, the Department of Labor’s Office for Foreign Labor Certification announced that it would streamline the process for H-2A employers filing petitions under the 2015 final herder rule. Going forward, employers and their authorized...