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Show Me the Money: What the Trump administration’s budget and spending priorities reveal to employers

May 25, 2017
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT
Webinar

Our Employment and Labor team marked the passage of President Trump’s first 100 days with a webinar on May 25, 2017 that looked at whether the president’s budget proposal backed up his prior public statements about wanted changes to employment, benefits and immigration regulations, as well as the impact on employers of the spending bill passed by Congress to prevent a government shutdown. By “following the money,” you can better prepare for future compliance demands and enforcement risks. For your convenience, the program can be viewed in it’s entirety and to register to the webinar by visiting the event page.

We hope you are able to join the program.

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Show Me the Money: What the Trump administration’s budget and spending priorities reveal to employers

Travel ban executive order – the saga continues

The US Departments of State and Homeland Security both issued statements on February 6, 2017, confirming that the government has suspended the implementation of key provisions of President Trump’s travel ban on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, and that visas that had been provisionally revoked are now valid for travel and may be used, once again, to come to the US, subject to the normal laws and procedures that existed prior to the President Trump’s executive order dated January 27, 2017.

This action comes as a result of a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in State of Washington and State of Minnesota v. Trump, denying a US Department of Justice request for an immediate stay of a nationwide injunction granted by a US federal district court judge in Seattle in response to Washington State’s request for a temporary restraining order immediately halting implementation and enforcement of the immigration ban.

The EO initially barred the entry to the United States of lawful permanent residents with green cards, and imposes a 90-day suspension of admission for immigrant and nonimmigrant visa holders, and refugees and passport holders from the seven countries. Soon thereafter, the Department of State issued an urgent notice suspending visa issuance to citizens of those countries. The EO also suspended the resettlement of refugees from all countries to the US for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Previous injunctions had been issued in federal courts in Massachusetts and New York. Those orders temporarily enjoined federal agencies from removing people with approved refugee applications, valid visas and the nationals from the seven Muslim countries. The Seattle court’s decision is the broadest and has the largest impact.

Citizens from these countries are impacted

Nationals from the following countries are detrimentally impacted:

  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Yemen

The EO does not apply to citizens of other countries who merely visited the listed countries. Further, the US Customs and Border Protection Agency has stated that the EO does not apply to citizens of these seven countries, if they are dual citizens and use the passport of a non-affected country to enter the US.

Travel guidance

Nationals from the seven listed countries, including dual citizens traveling with the passport of another country and US permanent residents, may wish to delay travel to the US until the details of the implementation of the EO are more clear, even if they already hold a visa to enter the United States. If in the United States already, they may wish to defer departure as they may not be allowed to return or they may find themselves going through a more lengthy than usual secondary inspection on arrival in the US. There are also reports of airline personnel being understandably confused regarding the status of the EO, with resulting inconvenience to travelers.

Background

On February 4, President Trump tweeted the following about the Hon. James L. Robart, the district court judge who issued the nationwide order. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”

Criticism of the tweet and the EO was immediate and widespread. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said, “The President’s hostility toward the rule of law is not just embarrassing, it is dangerous. He seems intent on precipitating a constitutional crisis.” Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said: “We fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”

Broad media coverage of the confusion caused by the uncertainty surrounding the EO’s fate continues. Dentons continues to receive emails and calls from employers who are considering cancelling all travel for employees carrying passports from the impacted countries, including dual citizens and US lawful permanent residents. Similar concerns have been voiced by citizens of many countries that are not listed in the EO but are worried that their country might be next. Due to the reciprocal nature of diplomatic relations, it is likely that US passport holders traveling to the seven countries will experience similar difficulties upon their arrival. Iran, for its part, has said, it would stop US citizens entering the country in retaliation to Washington’s visa ban.

Dentons will issue further information as it becomes available.

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Travel ban executive order – the saga continues

Disclosing bribery conduct not an easy decision for US companies

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July 8, 2016

Recent non-prosecution agreements between the US Securities and Exchange Commission and two companies—Akamai Technologies, Inc. and Nortek, Inc.—in matters involving FCPA books and records violations stemming from conduct that occurred in viagra sans ordonnance China, coupled with corresponding decisions by the US Department of Justice to close its investigations into these two matters, provide some limited insight into how to secure similar resolutions of future investigations. However, the questions that remain regarding the benefits of voluntary disclosure of an organization’s misconduct leave things clear as mud.

Should a US company faced with evidence of bribery by an employee or other agent self report in this post-Yates Memorandum/post-FCPA Pilot Program era? Read more in this client alert by Dentons white collar partners Stephen L. Hill, Michelle J. Shapiro and Brian O’Bleness.

Click to read complete article.

 

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Disclosing bribery conduct not an easy decision for US companies

Immigration compliance and the importance of getting it right

Bilfinger_Compliance_Better-think-twice

Verification of all employees’ eligibility for employment in the United States is required, but can result in penalties if  a company reverifies unnecessarily — and discriminatorily.

A US employer agreed to pay $43,000 in civil penalties, undergo training on proper compliance, and submit to monitoring of compliance for 18 months as part of a settlement agreement reached last week with the US Justice Department.

The Justice Department found the employer engaged in discrimination during the employment eligibility verification process when it required lawful permanent residents to reverify their employment eligibility after their alien registration cards expired, as well as requiring permanent residents to produce specific documents.

US law requires employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all employees hired.  Reverification is required for employees who are not permanently authorized for employment in the US, such as individuals with temporary visas like H-1B, TN, L-1, etc., as well as those with employment authorization documents.  However, reverification is not required for US citizens and lawful permanent residents, since they are permanently authorized for employment, not withstanding the fact that US passports and alien registration cards generally expire and must be renewed every 10 years.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services agency provides a list of the acceptable documents to prove identity and employment eligibility.  The law allows the employee to select any documents from the acceptable list and forbids employers from mandating specific documents.  The law prohibits citizenship and national origin discrimination.

For more information, see the Justice Department press release.

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Immigration compliance and the importance of getting it right

The Battle Against Corruption Has Gone Global, in a Big Way

Handcuffed man with euro banknotes

Global corporations and sophisticated international business people have long been aware of the risk of corruption and the potential liability that risk creates under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  This liability is both civil and criminal, corporate and personal, and can result in millions — and in some cases billions– of dollars in fines and penalties, not to mention years of imprisonment in federal penitentiaries for corporate executives.  The ever increasing mobility of corporate employees and executives has increased this risk as they have face-to-face encounters with different cultural and legal expectations of customers, government officials, and colleagues around the world.

For a long time, the US Department of Justice was a lone wolf, actively pursuing corruption around the world committed by US and foreign businesses and business people.   In recent years it was joined by the Securities and Exchange Commission which moved from occasional enforcement of the FCPA to creating a dedicated unit focused on pursuing corruption committed by publicly traded corporations.

But the United States doesn’t want to be alone, and has pushed for international adoption of anti-corruption sanctions through international organizations like the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and by putting pressure on its allies.  This effort has succeeded in a big way — in recent years, anti-corruption legislation has been adopted or invigorated around the world , not just among close US allies like in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, but also in the so-called BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Moreover, the traditional American approach of focusing on public corruption—the payment of bribes to public officials for business advantage—is being supplanted, even in the US, by efforts to pursue all forms of  corruption, whether the bribe is paid to a public official or a private person.  Meanwhile many nations are also pursing corporations for the related misconduct of maintaining inaccurate corporate financial records to hide corporate bribery.  In short, the fight against corruption has been taken up by many nations, using many tools, and fighting many forms of bribery.

Money under table (2)

But corporations and those involved in international business should not despair.  Despite the complexity of the various schemes around the world, the focus on different prosecutorial tools, and enforcement priorities, it is not difficult to build a single, simple, straight-forward global policy to prevent, deter, and detect corruption that not only recognizes the practical reality of international business, but can actually increase opportunity and profitability.

Exchange

For more on global anti-corruption laws click here.  To see the Dentons Global Anti-Corruption Team click here.

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The Battle Against Corruption Has Gone Global, in a Big Way