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OPT program has been growing in popularity

A big concern for college/graduate students as they are nearing the end of their studies is finding work for after graduation. Figuring out one’s post-graduation employment situation can have its difficulties for any student. For students from other countries who are studying in the U.S. on an F-1 student visa, there is the added challenge of addressing their immigration situation if they desire to work in the United States.

One of the special immigration options available for F-1 visa students who desire to work in the U.S. after graduating is the Optional Practical Training program.

U.S. sees increase in fatal construction falls

Construction work can carry dangers with it. As we discussed in a prior post, construction sees a particularly high level of workplace fatalities. A recent Center for Construction Research and Training report indicates that, in recent years, one type of fatal construction accident has especially been on the rise: fatal falls.

According to the report, there was a 36 percent increase in construction worker fatalities involving falls between 2011 and 2015. In comparison, construction industry deaths as a whole went up 26 percent over this same period.

Rectifying problem situations regarding immigrant legal statuses

Perhaps you're one of many immigrants who have been living in California for decades. Since arriving in this nation, you obtained a college degree, acquired gainful employment and are well on your way to saving enough money to put a down payment on the house you hope to purchase. Throughout recent years, as you made plans for your future in the United States, a particular issue has been nagging at your heart, mostly because you worry what the outcome will be if you try to resolve it: You're undocumented.

Whether you entered the United States without inspection or arrived here on a student visa that has expired, many people who have lived similar experiences say they felt very confused and frightened when trying to learn whether options existed to legitimize their statuses.

California near the top of the nation in H-1B applications

When a person from another country is looking to work in the U.S., what type of employment visa they might be able to pursue depends on their circumstances. For foreign nationals in high-skill professions and industries, such as the technology industry, one option that may be available is the H-1B visa. These are nonimmigrant work visas for individuals who work in specialty occupations.

There are challenges foreign workers can encounter in efforts to try to get this type of work visa. For one, there is a cap on how many H-1B visas are issued in a year. Also, various complex issues can come up in relation to the process of applying for such a visa. Additionally, a worker can sometimes run into difficulties in getting the documentation/information they need to help support their efforts to pursue an H-1B visa. Experienced immigration lawyers can provide individuals who are trying to get an H-1B visa in order to work here in California with guidance on the process of pursuing an H-1B visa and help them with responding to challenges that come up during this process.

What groups see a lot of workplace fatalities?

Workplace accidents can have truly massive ramifications. In some cases, the injuries from such accidents end up taking a worker’s life.

Some groups of workers see particularly high workplace fatality numbers. Recently, the AFL-CIO issued a report looking at U.S. workplace death statistics for 2015. The report pointed out some of the groups that showed high workplace fatality levels in 2015, including:

Many U.S. businesses planning to bring on immigrant workers this year

Immigration issues related to hiring immigrant workers are a type of legal issue that can come up for all kinds of businesses. Many different companies here in the U.S. have immigrant workers on their workforce. And a recent CareerBuilder survey indicates that many businesses here in America anticipate hiring such workers this year.

Among the survey’s respondents were 2,380 employers. Of these employers, 33 percent said that they have plans to hire immigrant workers this year. While there were a wide range of different businesses that anticipated hiring such workers, there were some types of businesses for which such plans were particularly common. The size of business which showed the highest likelihood of planning to hire immigrant workers was employers with 251 to 500 workers. And among different industries, the likelihood of having such plans was highest among companies in the IT industry.

Should an undocumented California worker document a work injury?

You came to California some time ago. You escaped imminent danger and extreme poverty in your country of origin. Since then, you managed to build a healthy, successful life here for yourself and your family; yet, each year continues to bring challenges and worry because you remain undocumented. Perhaps part of your concern pertains to your job. What if you get injured in a workplace accident? How might your status affect your ability to seek medical attention or receive workers' compensation benefits? 

You likely already know most employers in the United States must purchase insurance to protect their workers in case of injury on the job. Workers' compensation insurance supplies benefits for injured employees to cover medical expenses and replace at least a portion of lost wages to help make ends meet during recovery. Many immigrants live in fear of deportation, and what seems a minor incident to a U.S. citizen (such as getting pulled over for a broken tail light) often terrifies a person without legitimate resident status. 

Surgical smoke can pose risks to health workers

What happens during a surgery cannot only be impactful on the health of the patient. It could also have effects on the health and safety of the health care workers involved in the procedure.

There are various harmful things that could potentially happen to a health care worker during a surgery. They could suffer accidents involving the equipment used during the surgery. Also, they could be exposed to harmful substances during the course of the procedure.

How can I marry my non-U.S. citizen fiance?

If you are a citizen of the United States, regardless of whether you were born in Asia, the Middle East, India or another foreign country, you may want to bring your fiancé to the United States to be married. With the necessary knowledge, legal support and guidance, you can achieve this and then work on getting your new spouse's permanent residency arranged, which would enable you to build a future in California.

There are two ways to help your loved one join you in America and become a permanent resident. You must follow specific procedures, and there are particular requirements, depending on whether you plan to marry here or wed outside of the United States and then come back to apply for residency for your new spouse.

Immigrants, deportation worries and the workplace

Fear of deportation can be hanging over the heads of immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants, in many different places. This includes the workplace.

A recent state bill aims to put some new workplace protections in place for immigrants here in California. The bill would add some requirements for employers in the state when it comes to federal immigration actions. Among the things employers would have to do under the bill are:

  • Not share worker information that is confidential, unless a subpoena has been issued.
  • Not allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents into their workplace without first asking for a warrant.
  • Inform the Labor Commissioner in the state of workplace raids.
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