Wyatt Employment Law Report

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Employment Authorization Document for H4 Dependent Spouses

By Barbara W. Menefee

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.At long last, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it will begin accepting applications for employment authorization documents for the dependent spouses of H1B visa holders (“H4”) under certain circumstances. This news is welcome for the thousands of intending immigrants who are in long lines awaiting a visa to become available so that they can file applications for permanent residence in the United States. For instance, if a person from India begins the employment-based permanent residence process today, he or she can expect to wait at least 10 years before they are eligible to file an application for permanent residence in the United States. For most spouses of these applicants, that has meant ten years without the authorization to work in the United States.

The announcement specifically applies to H4s whose spouses have approved I-140 Immigrant Petitions on their behalf, or whose spouses otherwise qualify for an extension of their H1B status beyond the typical six years. This provision will Continue reading

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There’s An App For That!

By Michelle D. Wyrick

As we move into the dog days of summer, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has announced its launch of a smartphone application that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites.  The app, which is available in English and Spanish, is supposed to help prevent heat-related illnesses.  It uses heat index data and the user’s location to provide information about precautions that workers may take, such as taking rest breaks, drinking fluids, and adjusting work operations.  The app also allows users to review the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and to learn emergency first aid measures.  Workers can also use the app to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration directly.

The heat index app is the DOL’s second app for smartphones.  Its first, which was released earlier this year, enables employees to track the hours they work, their break times, and any overtime hours worked.  The DOL is exploring updates to this app that would permit employees to track other items such as tips, bonuses, commissions, deductions, and premium pay.