Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration: How Employers Need to Prepare

Despite the Republican takeover of the Senate in the midterm elections, President Obama moved forward with his executive action, providing relief from deportation for up to five million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for more than five years, and either have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident son or daughter, or themselves entered the U.S. before the age of 16.

Although employers may not be directly affected by this change in policy, the collateral responsibilities and opportunities for many employers will be significant. With that in mind, here are some issues employers need to start thinking about and preparing for:
  • The need to establish internal policies in order to decide how to treat employees who show up to work one day with new names, new government issued IDs and new Social Security numbers. If the decision is made to continue their employment, procedures must be put in place as to how to treat these employees without ostracizing or penalizing them.
  • If employees come into work with new identifications, new I-9 forms are going to have to be filed with this new information included. The way this is expected to work is that each worker would essentially have to be rehired with an I-9 form being filled out for each “new” employee.
  • Employers should decide whether they want to be proactive by encouraging their work staff to seek legal counsel to assist in preparing their applications and avoiding unscrupulous “notarios.”
  • An employer may want to sponsor certain workers for permanent residency through labor certification. An employer that wants to keep a stable, loyal work force may find it advantageous to sponsor their workers in this way. Some employers, however, may want to shy away from this option for various reasons.
Employers should consider these options carefully so they are fully prepared to make the best decision for their business.

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Mitchell C. Zwaik
Long Island, NY
Brooklyn, NY
(631) 588-4040
info@zwaik.com