Investors likely gave no thought to I-9 compliance when buying shares in the Mexican fast food restaurant Chipotle. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement I-9 audits of the company’s restaurants that began late last year and are ongoing already have resulted in hundreds of allegedly unauthorized workers losing their jobs. That was just the beginning. With

As of January 26, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Services indicated that it received sufficient H-1B petitions to reach the annual cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year 2011 (October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2011). As of December 22, 2010, it had received more than 20,000 petitions toward the annual exemption amount for individuals with

The U.S. Department of Labor announced this week a $638,449 back wage consent order and $126,778 civil fine against a New Jersey IT consulting firm, Peri Software Solutions, Inc. The announcement indicated that the back wages resulted from the employer’s failure to compensate the H-1B workers as required under Department of Labor regulations. The civil fine arose from two issues:  the employer failed to provide notice of its intent to employ H-1B workers and it sued former employees "for early cessation of employment."

The announcement may raise more questions than it answers concerning the specific facts involved, but it serves as a good reminder for H-1B employers that the applicable regulations are very exacting and can be costly when disregarded.  While this case appears to have involved a failure to pay the required wage rate, employers may be surprised to learn that the wage obligation continues as long as the H-1B petition remains valid, which in many cases can be for up to three years. Even after an H-1B worker has resigned or been terminated, the Department of Labor requires the employer to pay the worker’s wages until U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has revoked the H-1B petition. The H-1B regulations in fact require employers to notify USCIS when the H-1B worker’s employment ends. Requesting revocation of the petition therefore complies with USCIS regulations and avoids a potential Department of Labor assessment of back wages.


Continue Reading H-1B Employer Assessed Back Wages and Fined

The U.S. Department of Justice this week announced a settlement with Catholic Healthcare West and two subsidiaries over alleged document abuse violations related to hiring practices. The Justice Department determined that the employer violated the discrimination provisions of the Immigration Act by permitting native-born U.S. citizens to choose which documents to provide but demanding additional

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a final rule outlining filing fee increases for immigration benefits petitions and applications. The announcement and related questions and answers mention several times that CIS receives approximately 90% of its $2.4 million budget from filing fees. As a result, CIS explains that it needs to increases the fees to recover

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced this week that it will serve Notices of Inspection to 500 employers across the United States. According to ICE, the Notices stem from leads and other reports alleging the employment of unauthorized workers, payment of unfair wages or other unlawful working conditions. This new announcement confirms ICE’s intent to