On June 30, 2014, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill (S1440) that would add unemployed applicants to the growing list of protected classes under New Jersey law. First referenced in the March 2014 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority, the bill would prohibit an employer from discriminating against applicants based on their present or past unemployment. The initial bill was amended by the Senate Labor Committee in March to clarify an employer’s right to research an applicant’s employment history, and also to confirm that there is no private cause of action available under the law. (Violations of the proposed law would instead result in fines of $1,000 for a first offense, $5,000 for a second offense, and $10,000 for a third offense.) The bill is now before Governor Christie for his consideration.
On June 19, 2012, Charles Oppenheim, Chief of the Immigrant Visa Control and Reporting division (Visa Office) at the U.S. Department of State (DOS), met with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to discuss the recent EB-2 (Employment-Based, second preference) worldwide retrogression and provide an updated forecast of employment-based visa date movements for FY 2012 and beyond.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently provided some good news on a few different fronts, though the benefits of these items accrue to relatively narrow classes of immigration applicants. Beginning March 2, USCIS began accepting requests for Premium Processing Service for I-140 Immigrant (“green card”) Petitions where: the alien beneficiary has reached, or will reach within 60 days of filing, their sixth year of H-1B stay; and the alien beneficiary requires approval of the I-140 to extend his/her status beyond the normal six-year H-1B limit.