Oct
11
The Statute of Limitations Do Not Apply to Employees Pursing a PAGA Action
By Thomas Lee

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On July 21, 2021, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, held that an aggrieved employee whose individual claim was time-barred had standing to pursue a representative claim under the Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (PAGA) on behalf of other allegedly aggrieved employees regardless of whether the employee was personally aggrieved (Johnson v. Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.). The high court ruled that an aggrieved employee who settled his individual claims nonetheless had standing to maintain a representative PAGA action. This ruling was based on its interpretation of the California Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Kim v. Reins.


By expanding the scope of employees ...


Oct
08
USCIS Extends Flexibility for Responding to Agency Requests
By Thomas Lee

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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, USCIS is extending the flexibilities it announced on March 30, 2020, to assist applicants, petitioners and requestors who are responding to certain:


-Requests for Evidence;


-Continuations to Request Evidence (N-14);


-Notices of Intent to Deny;


-Notices of Intent to Revoke;


-Notices of Intent to Rescind;


-Notices of Intent to Terminate regional centers; and


-Motions to Reopen an N-400 Pursuant to 8 CFR 335.5, Receipt of Derogatory Information After Grant.



This flexibility applies if the issuance date listed on the request, notice or decision is between March 1, 2020, and Jan. 15, 2022, inclusive.


Moreover, USCIS will consider a Form I-290B: Notice of Appeal or...


Sep
23
California is the 1st State to Set Quota Limits for Retailers Like Amazon
By Thomas Lee

Amazon workers pack orders at an Amazon fulfillment center on Jan. 20, 2015, in Tracy, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law where California became the first state to bar mega-retailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks.


The measure bars online retail giants like Amazon, from disciplining workers for following health and safety laws and allows employees to sue to suspend unsafe quotas or reverse retaliation. This is applicable to all distribution centers.


"We cannot allow corporations to put profit over people," Newson said in a news release.


Large warehouse employers have 30 days to disclose quotas to employees. Employees who think their quotas lead to unsafe behavior can ask for 90 days' worth of documentat...


Sep
16
COVID-19 Vaccination Required for Immigration Medical Examinations
By Thomas Lee

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Effective Oct. 1, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.


USCIS is updating their policy guidance in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Aug. 17, 2021 update to the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons. The update requires applicants subject to the immigration medical examination to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) and provide proo...


Sep
03
USCIS Extends Evidence of Status for Conditional Permanent Residents to 24 Months with Pending Form I-751 or Form I-829
By Thomas Lee

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Starting September 4, 2021, USCIS is extending the time that receipt notices can be used to show evidence of status from 18 months to 24 months for petitioners who properly file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, or Form I-829, Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status. USCIS is making the change from 18 to 24 months to accommodate current processing times for Form I-751 and Form I-829, which have increased over the past year.


Conditional permanent residents who properly file Form I-751 or Form I-829 will receive a receipt notice that can be presented with their Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card), as evidence of c...


Aug
27
Supreme Court orders ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy reinstated
By Thomas Lee

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On August 24, 2021, the Supreme Court refused to block a court ruling ordering the Biden administration to reinstate a Trump-era policy that forces people to wait in Mexico while seeking asylum in the U.S.


The high court's order, issued on Tuesday evening over the dissent of the court’s three Democratic appointees, rejected the Justice Department’s request for a stay that would have allowed the controversial policy to remain on ice while litigation over President Joe Biden’s effort to rescind it continues.


The court offered little explanation for its action, although it cited its opinion from last year rejecting the Trump administration's effort to end another immigration pro...


Aug
16
USCIS is Temporarily Extending Validity Period of Form I-693
By Thomas Lee

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Beginning on August 12, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, from two years to now four years due to COVID-19-related delays in processing.


USCIS may consider a completed Form I-693 as valid if:


- The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;


- No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature; and


- A decision on the applicant’s Form I-485 is issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021.


USCIS is making this temporary...


Aug
09
USCIS Expands Partnership with Social Security Administration
By Thomas Lee


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On August 9, 2021, USCIS announced that applicants filing for lawful permanent resident status are now able to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement card as part of the adjustment of status application process. Previously, these individuals had to apply for a Social Security number at a Social Security office. USCIS is revising Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to include the additional questions needed to apply for an SSN or a replacement card.


After approving Form I-485, in most cases USCIS will electronically transmit the data to the Social Security Administration. Upon receiving the data, the Social Security Administration will a...


Jul
29
Immigration Help Available to Those Affected by Natural Disasters and Other Unforeseen Circumstances
By Thomas Lee


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USCIS is reminding the public that they offer immigration services that may help people affected by unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters. Examples of unforeseen circumstances include, but are not limited to, the wildfires in the western United States and the recent building collapse in Surfside, Florida.


The following measures may be available on a case-by-case basis upon request:


- Changing a nonimmigrant status or extending a nonimmigrant stay for an individual currently in the United States. Failure to apply for the extension or change before expiration of your authorized period of admission may be excused if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your contro...


Jul
23
Mask Mandate Returns to Los Angeles as COVID-19 Cases Rise
By Thomas Lee

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On July 22, 2021, the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health issued a new order due to the rapid increase of new COVID-19 cases. This new order modifies the prior health order. The order mainly aligns with the State Public Health Officer Order of June 11, 2021 and continues to place certain safety requirements on individuals consistent with federal and state rules. In addition, the order now requires that all persons wear face masks, regardless of their vaccination status, while in indoor public settings and businesses, with limited exceptions, as a precautionary measure with this level of community transmission.


The order continues some requirements on businesses and government e...