The recent eruption of an Icelandic volcano has created travel chaos across Europe. Not only were persons stranded at various locations in Europe, but persons wishing to depart the United States and return to Europe and elsewhere abroad were forced to remain in the United States longer than expected. A nonimmigrant (e.g., H-1B, L-1,B-1, B-2 or Visa Waiver Program (VWP) tourist or business traveler) who cannot exit the United States before the expiration of his or her status may need to take immediate action to avoid being deemed an “overstay.” Persons deemed an overstay may face various sanctions. For example, a VWP business traveler may be found ineligible for future VWP visits to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has issued a travel advisory and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has provided additional guidance.
Recently, some employers in California have turned to flexible work arrangements and unlimited paid vacation policies as a tool for recruiting and retaining employees. Before April 2020, however, no California court had addressed whether a nonaccrual, unlimited paid time-off policy was subject to Labor Code Section 227.3, thereby requiring an employer to pay out vested vacation time at the time of an employee’s discharge. Although the California Court of Appeal somewhat sidestepped the issue, its recent decision in McPherson v. EF Intercultural Foundation, Inc., No. B290868 (April 1, 2020), highlighted the potential exposure California employers may face when offering “unlimited” vacation policies that are not clearly communicated to employees. This decision is of particular interest to employers with “unlimited” vacation policies that may be facing substantial vacation payouts in light of terminations, layoffs, and furloughs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of Private Sector Exchange (OPSE), which designates, monitors, and partners with U.S. organizations to administer the Exchange Visitor Program, has been notifying sponsors within the Intern and Trainee categories about J-1 “discussion group events” and requesting contact information for exchange visitors.
On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that amends and significantly expands New Jersey’s existing Family Leave Act (NJFLA) and Family Leave Insurance law (NJFLI).