Two recent settlements between employers and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) highlight the complex interplay between U.S. immigration and export control laws in the hiring process. The settlements provide a reminder to employers of the potential employment discrimination pitfalls for companies trying to comply with export control laws.

In late August 2018, the DOJ’s Immigration and Employee Rights Section (IER) reached a settlement agreement with international law firm Clifford Chance US LLP, which the DOJ accused of violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by refusing to consider employment-authorized non-US citizens and dual citizens for a document review project. Just two months earlier, the DOJ found that engineering company Setpoint Systems, Inc. violated the INA by limiting certain positions to U.S. citizens only.  In both cases, the unlawful employment practices stemmed from a mistaken understanding of the requirements of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

In this blog, we provide an overview of the overlapping laws and summary of key compliance practices for employers.

Continue Reading Export Control Hiring Practices Continue to Challenge Employers

If they don’t already, US employers must view Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, as more than just a form. Changes to the form reflect changes in law, regulation, policy, and technology. Employers must monitor Form I-9 developments and learn to read between the lines. After several years without changes, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has rolled out two new versions of Form I-9 since November 14, 2016, with the most recent version taking effect on September 18, 2017.

The recent releases of the Form I-9 coincide with an increase in a focus on employer enforcement activity and policies. The Form I-9 and the associated fines for violations and non-compliance were static since 2013. Thus, while many of the Form I-9 changes can be correctly characterized as technical and non-substantive, employers should not minimize the implications of frequent changes and governmental investments in technology enhancements.

Continue Reading Why Employers Should Care About Form I-9 Changes