WWT Insights Legal Blog

Wilson Wehmeyer Themeli, pllc provides you legal news, updates, and analysis in its blog WWT Insights. Read the latest posts.

  • “U.S. Citizenship Act” – Earned Path to Citizenship: a Summary
    by Sonila Themeli on February 22, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    On February 18, 2021, a new immigration bill – “U.S. Citizenship Act” – was introduced in the House and Senate.  The Bill contains many positive and important provisions for immigrants, for both family and employment-based visas.  The following is an overview of the main provisions related to the Lawful Prospective Immigrant status. Terminology: The Bill

  • Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, and a Sponsoring Spouse’s Obligations After Divorce
    by Sonila Themeli on February 18, 2021 at 1:14 am

    Very often immigration issues arise in family matters.  The following is a question I am often asked by family law attorneys representing non-citizen clients: Does divorce terminate or void the obligation of a sponsoring spouse to support an immigrant spouse?  The answer is: No, it does not. The Affidavit of Support A U.S. citizen or

  • Employment Verification Requirements for Employers and Penalties for I-9 Violations
    by Sonila Themeli on February 11, 2021 at 11:25 pm

    What are an employer’s obligations? Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), every employer in the United States (individual or entity) is prohibited from knowingly hiring or continuing to employ a person not authorized to work in the United States.  INA § 274A, 8 U.S.C. § 1324a.  Nor can employers use contracts,

  • Fiancé or Marriage visa? Which way to go?
    by Sonila Themeli on February 2, 2021 at 11:59 pm

    Are you a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder) who has a girlfriend, boyfriend, fiancé, husband, or wife who is abroad?  Some of the most common questions we receive from clients are “How can I bring my fiancé or spouse to the U.S.?  Should I file for a fiancé visa or marriage

  • The 183 North Mobility Project
    by Ana Suarez on January 29, 2021 at 7:05 pm

    An Expansion Impacting The Austin Community Running approximately 9 miles along the US-183, The 183 North Mobility Project sets to expand mobility capacity and reduce traffic congestion along the US 183, between SH 45 North and MoPac.The expansion is a collaboration between The Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, and the Texas Department of Transportation. The

  • The I-45 North Houston Highway Improvement Project
    by Ana Suarez on January 22, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    Characterized as “transformative”, the North Houston Highway Improvement Project (NHHIP) is set to delineate new infrastructure for the City of Houston. The NHHIP includes the combined participation of TxDOT, City of Houston, Harris County Flood Control District, METRO, the Houston Housing Authority, management districts, civic associations, and neighborhoods.The project displaces churches, schools, commercial billboards, medical

Other Legal Feeds

The Supreme Court of the United States

  • The morning read for Tuesday, July 27
    by James Romoser on July 27, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Each weekday, we select a short list of news articles, commentary, and other noteworthy links related to the Supreme Court. To suggest a piece for us to consider, email us at roundup@scotusblog.com. Here’s the Tuesday morning read: Celina Sotomayor, mother of Supreme Court justice, dies at… The post The morning read for Tuesday, July 27 appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

  • The morning read for Monday, July 26
    by James Romoser on July 26, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Each weekday, we select a short list of news articles, commentary, and other noteworthy links related to the Supreme Court. To suggest a piece for us to consider, email us at roundup@scotusblog.com. Here’s the Monday morning read: ‘Complete, dysfunctional chaos’: Oklahoma reels after Supreme Court ruling… The post The morning read for Monday, July 26 appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

  • Brave new court: Melissa Murray on the new conservative majority
    by Angie Gou on July 23, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Melissa Murray refused to recant her view: The newly minted conservative court is poised to effect great change in the country. Murray, a professor of law at New York University and co-host of the podcast Strict Scrutiny, co-authored an article last September predicting that the… The post Brave new court: Melissa Murray on the new conservative majority appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement

US Department of Labor

  • Departamento de Trabajo de EE.UU. anuncia propuesta para implementar orden ejecutiva, aumentar los salarios de trabajadores de contratos federales
    on July 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    WASHINGTON, DC –El Departamento de Trabajo de EE.UU. anunció hoy un Aviso de Propuesta de Reglamentación para establecer estándares y procedimientos para implementar y hacer cumplir la Orden Ejecutiva 14026 “Aumento del Salario Mínimo para Contratistas Federales”, firmada por el Presidente Biden el 27 de abril de 2021. Esta Orden Ejecutiva: Aumentará el salario mínimo para los trabajadores que realizan trabajos de o en relación a contratos federales cubiertos a $15 por hora a partir del 30 de enero de 2022. Continuará indexando el salario mínimo del contrato federal en años futuros en función de la inflación. Eliminará el salario mínimo con propina para los trabajadores contratistas federales para el 2024. Garantizará un salario mínimo de $15 para trabajadores con discapacidades que realicen trabajos de o en relación con contratos cubiertos. Restaurará las protecciones del salario mínimo para proveedores y guías que operan en terrenos federales. “La Orden Ejecutiva 14026 mejora la seguridad económica de las familias y avanza hacia la reversión de décadas de desigualdad en ingresos”, dijo Jessica Looman, Administradora en Funciones de la División de Horas y Salarios. “Nuestras propuestas de regulaciones para implementar la Orden Ejecutiva del Presidente Biden garantizarán que el dinero de los contribuyentes sostenga la dignidad del trabajo y provea un salario digno a los trabajadores con contratos federales, incluidos trabajadores de limpieza, mantenimiento, cuidados especializados y servicios de alimentación cuyos esfuerzos son fundamentales para la recuperación nacional por la pandemia”. La Orden Ejecutiva 14026 se sustenta sobre la Orden Ejecutiva 13658 “Establecimiento de un Salario Mínimo para los Contratistas Federales”, firmada por el Presidente Obama en 2014. La anterior orden aumentó el salario mínimo por hora a $10.10 para los trabajadores en contratos federales cubiertos o en relación a ellos, a partir del 1 de enero del 2015, y el salario mínimo por hora aumentó anualmente a partir de entonces en función de la inflación. El actual salario mínimo en contratos federales bajo la Orden Ejecutiva 13658 es $10.95 por hora. El departamento invita comentarios del público sobre la propuesta regulación en www.regulations.gov. El período de comentarios se cierra el 23 de agosto de 2021. Cualquiera que envíe un comentario (incluidos comentarios duplicados) debe saber y esperar que el comentario, incluida la información personal proporcionada, se convierta en un asunto de dominio público. La división publicará comentarios sin cambios en www.regulations.gov e incluirá cualquier información personal proporcionada. La división publica los comentarios recopilados y enviados por una organización externa como grupo, utilizando un único número de identificación de documento en el sitio. Read this release in English

  • US Department of Labor to offer virtual seminars in August to help employers, workers, stakeholders with prevailing wage requirements
    on July 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    WASHINGTON, DC – To help employers, workers and others stakeholders understand federal standards for prevailing wages on federally funded construction and service contracts, the U.S. Department of Labor is offering virtual compliance seminars in August for contracting agencies, contractors, unions, workers and other stakeholders. Presented by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, the seminars will include video training on a variety of Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act topics that participants can view on demand, followed by live question and answer sessions on several dates to accommodate participants’ schedules. The division will offer live sessions from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. EDT on August 11, 12, 25 and 26. “Prevailing wage laws ensure that the federal government’s purchasing power pays local wages and protects fair competition among contractors,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting Administrator Jessica Looman. “These seminars provide an excellent opportunity for the entire contracting community to ensure they have the information they need to comply with the law. They also reflect our longstanding commitment to education and enforcement.” Attendance is free, but registration is required by Aug. 11. Register for a prevailing wage seminar. More information – including links to video training and virtual Q&A session dates – will be sent to registrants in the near future. For more information on the Davis-Bacon Act, the Service Contract Act, and other federal wage laws, please call the division’s department’s toll-free helpline at 1-866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit the Wage and Hour Division online.

  • Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report
    on July 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    In the week ending July 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 419,000, an increase of 51,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 8,000 from 360,000 to 368,000. The 4-week moving average was 385,250, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,000 from 382,500 to 384,500.

  • US Department of Labor cites Mobile dredging equipment manufacturer after investigation into 22-year-old worker’s death
    on July 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    MOBILE, AL – On Jan. 27, a 22-year-old apprentice atop a crane bridge 30 feet in the air suffered fatal injuries when he became caught in a crane trolley’s drive shaft, a tragedy that federal inspectors say could have been prevented.                       The Alabama resident, part of a five-man team employed by SPI/Mobile Pulley Works Inc. to repair a 50-ton hoist, was guiding a heavy steel cable onto a hoist drum when the incident occurred. Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration determined the employer failed to ensure workers were removed from the structure of the crane, or otherwise out of the path of moving components while the crane was in operation.   OSHA’s inspection led to 11 serious and two other-than-serious violations for the Mobile-based dredging equipment manufacturer. Inspectors found the company failed to provide a workplace free from hazards and exposed them to caught-in and crushed-by hazards that would likely cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA also identified the following violations: Allowed employees to work near unguarded equipment, which exposed them to struck-by and caught-in hazards. Failed to conduct periodic inspections of the crane. Exposed workers to respiratory hazards by requiring employees to wear half-mask negative pressure respirators without proper fit tests, and did not provide training on respirator use to minimize the number of employees exposed to respirable crystalline silica. Failed to provide proper training on fall protection systems, exposing workers to fall hazards. Failed to inspect alloy steel chain slings used for rigging. OSHA proposed $89,141 in penalties.  “Heavy industrial work can be hazardous and employers must follow workplace safety standards to avoid serious injuries and, in this case, tragedy,” said OSHA Area Director Jose A. Gonzalez in Mobile, Alabama. “The terrible loss for this young man’s family and friends is deepened by the knowledge that this incident could have been prevented.” Learn more about crane, derrick and hoist safety, fall and respiratory protection. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

  • US Department of Labor recovers $57K in back wages for 15 workers of Brookhaven restaurant after finding minimum wage violations
    on July 27, 2021 at 4:18 pm

    BROOKHAVEN, MS – A Brookhaven restaurant failed to maintain records proving tipped employees earned at least the required $7.25 federal minimum wage and committed other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has found. A review of Lin Chen LLC’s pay and recordkeeping practices revealed that tipped employees did not keep all tips and that the employer failed to keep the required records to verify that tips employees received, when combined with their direct wages from the employer, met federal minimum wage requirements. Lin Chen’s recordkeeping failure disallowed the employer’s ability to use a “tip credit,” – a credit an employer can take for workers’ tips toward its minimum wage obligations. The restaurant operates as Little Tokyo Japanese Steak House. As a result of the investigation, the division recovered $57,323 in back wages owed for the affected workers. “These hard-working, essential workers deserve to be paid all of the wages they have legally earned,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall, in Jackson, Mississippi. “We encourage employers to contact their nearest Wage and Hour Division office to better understand their legal responsibilities and avoid costly errors. Workers with questions can call us confidentially to ask questions or file complaints. We can communicate with callers in more than 200 languages, and enforce the law regardless of a worker’s immigration status.” For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.