Quote from heatherbless
Here's is what I found !!!Read on to step two the Labor Condition Application , I hope these laws wont be changed!!
I do not think they will ever have enough nurses trained to kick the supply-demand theory--they have too many tests to pass to even work here--and they say by the year-2008, our nursing shortage will be even worse.
Thanks to the new global economy, today's talent pool includes not just U.S. workers, but workers from around the world. That's why a comprehensive recruitment plan in the year 2000 often features an immigration component to deal with the regulations governing the employment of foreign workers.
As a health care human resources professional, what aspects of immigration law do you need to incorporate into your staffing and recruitment plans? What strategies can help you ensure retention of foreign-born physicians, nurses, technologists and other professionals? What pitfalls do you need to avoid?
Following are some points to consider.
Immigration law features in all hires.
Included in the Immigration and Nationality Act is section 274A(a). This section provides that it is unlawful for an employer to hire an "alien" (i.e., a non-citizen) knowing that he or she is not authorized to work in the U.S.
It also is unlawful to hire anyone without complying with certain "employment verification procedures." Section 274A(b) directs each employer to verify that every employee hired after November, 1986 is authorized to work in the U.S. Verification takes place when the employer and employee complete the "Employment Eligibility Form," commonly known as form I-9.
The I-9 serves two functions. First, it allows employers
to assist the INS in enforcing immigration laws. Second, the I-9 may be used as evidence against an employer who fails to properly complete and store the forms, whether or not any of its employees are illegal aliens.
Employers also are liable for discrimination that results from an overzealous attempt to comply with the law. Since penalties can reach into the millions of dollars and may include jail sentences, it makes sense to protect yourself and your organization. Make sure that each I-9 is completed fully, and in a timely manner. Make sure that each employee completes Section One of the I-9 on his or her first day. By the third day, each new hire must provide acceptable documentation showing identity and employment eligibility, and the employer must complete Section Two of the I-9. Observe these two deadlines and you already have avoided the most common mistakes.
Keep adequate records. The regulations clearly require employers to keep the original I-9s or a microfiche copy of them. As a safeguard, you may photocopy all documents presented by an employee in support of an I-9, as is permitted, but not required, by INS regulations. If a supporting document turns out to be fraudulent, the photocopy will establish that the employer examined the document and that it appeared to be genuine on its face. Employers aren't expected to be documents experts. A photocopy shows the employer had no visual clues that the document was fake. Of course, you must examine original or certified documents when completing the I-9, not photocopies. It's also a good idea to make an alternate file of the I-9 and supporting documents. In the case of an audit, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is likely to confiscate the originals. Having an alternate file allows you and your counsel to build a defense.
It's also useful to store I-9s and supporting documents in files separate from your standard personnel files. In the case of an audit, this will make information retrieval easier and it will lessen the chance government agents will have to pore over confidential personnel information irrelevant to an I-9 audit. In the event of a government inspection, employers are entitled to three days notice to produce their I-9 forms.
These few precautions should help eliminate the risk of immigration penalties and unwanted INS scrutiny
Understand the "H-1B" process.
A few years ago, "H-1B" was a fairly technical term known only to lawyers, HR professionals and immigrants. Now, it's becoming a household word thanks to the labor crunch in both high tech and health care. The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa for professionals, good for up to six years. In most professions where a college degree is necessary, an employer may petition for a worker to obtain an H-1B. In health care, such professionals include dentists, dietitians, medical technologists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physical therapists, psychologists, recreational therapists, researchers and physicians.
Health care organizations must follow a three-step process to obtain H-1B status for a professional employee.
Step One is a Prevailing Wage Determination. U.S. immigration law requires that all H-1B employees be paid the prevailing wage for their occupation or the actual wage being paid by the employer to other professionals in the same field - whichever is higher. The safest way to establish the prevailing wage is to obtain a letter from the State Employment Service Agency (SESA) outlining the prevailing wage for the profession in the state where the professional will be employed.
Step Two is called the Labor Condition Application (LCA). Once the employer has established the prevailing wage it may submit a LCA to the U.S. Department of Labor. The LCA requires the employer to attest that the foreign professional's working conditions will not adversely affect working conditions of U.S. professionals similarly employed. The employer also must attest that there is no lockout or strike taking place in the employee's occupation, that employees or their bargaining representatives have been given a copy of the LCA, and that a copy of the LCA has been given to the employee. By law, the Labor Department must take action on an LCA within seven business days. Severe penalties may be imposed for misrepresentations or failure to comply with statements contained in the LCA.
Step Three is the H-1B Petition. Once an LCA is approved, the employer may submit an H-1B petition to the INS. Documents demonstrating the employee's education, experience and any required licenses must accompany the petition, and the employee cannot begin work until the petition is approved. The employee's spouse and children under 21 may be granted H-4 status, allowing them to stay in the U.S. and attend school, but not to work. The processing time for an H-1B petition varies according to the INS Service Center where it is submitted, but is generally within ranges from 30 to 90 days.