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Hiring foreign professionals and techs? H1-B visa deadline is April 1


The federal government will begin accepting employers’ petitions for H1-B visas on April 1, the first step employers must take to hire foreign workers to fill certain “professional” and “specialty occupation” positions. A better economy means the available 85,000 visas might be snapped up fast this year. Here’s how to get a jump on your competition.

Workers ‘illegal’? You still have to pay them


Employees can always sue if they haven’t been paid for their work—even if they’re in the country illegally and not eligible to work in the United States. Employers can’t use their undocumented status as an excuse for not paying minimum wage and overtime under the FLSA.

Koch Foods fined $536,000 after immigration raid


In late 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials raided a Koch Foods plant in Fairfield, just outside Cincinnati. They found 161 illegal workers at the poultry plant. Now ICE has fined the company $536,000.

5 common I-9 mistakes


It is remarkable that a seemingly simple, one-page form—the Form I-9—can cause so many headaches. But who ever said a government form was easy, much less an immigration-related form. Here are the most common mistakes employers make.

Pilgrim’s Pride settles ICE investigation for $4.5 million


Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., one of the nation’s largest poultry processors, has agreed to settle with the government following a two-year Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation into allegations that hundreds of its employees were unauthorized to work in the United States.

E-Verify now legal in Illinois … if employers play by new rules


Illinois’ long-standing mistrust of the federal government’s E-Verify employment eligibility verification program has now been codified into a new law meant to make sure the online system can’t be used to harm workers. Employers that use E-Verify must now complete the Illinois Department of Labor’s “E-Verify Employer Attestation Form.”

Firm skids on ICE, eventually collides with EEOC


Things started out rocky last November for American Building Maintenance (ABM), a nationwide janitorial services conglomerate, when ICE agents busted it for employing 1,200 undocumented workers. Bad turned to worse in January when the EEOC filed a complaint against ABM, alleging race discrimination against black workers hired last fall through a nonprofit Minneapolis employment agency called Emerge.

Employers facing new version of I-9, increased enforcement


Since 2009, employers in the United States have been required to use a revised version of the I-9 form. Plus, the federal agency that enforces workplace immigration laws has become much more aggressive in targeting employers. Here are the details, plus a Q&A from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) … 

To what extent can we use electronic systems to store I-9s and other personnel documents?


Q. I understand that I-9 forms can now be stored electronically. To save on office space and filing time, our department is considering scanning and electronically filing all personnel files and documents. Is this OK?

This winter’s forecast: ICE


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be conducting I-9 audits of employers performing work on “critical infrastructure” over the winter months. About 1,000 employers—mainly in defense- and law enforcement-related industries—are being targeted for the audits. The new audit crackdown may be a sign of things to come.