HR Management Compliance

Telework Poses Potential Threat for Companies with Overseas Staff


With extra folks working remotely than ever earlier than, U.S. employers want to think about international staff’ visa standing or danger fines.

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have allowed staff to work at home. The truth is, the proportion of the U.S. workforce telecommuting on a full-time foundation is bigger than ever earlier than, and a few don’t have any plans to return to a extra conventional worksite setting.

So long as Web entry is obtainable, many can doubtlessly work wherever or change a worksite location on a whim, with or with out discover to the employer. The pliability, typically seen as a perk, is a possible pitfall to companies with international staff.

Location, Location, Location!

Many immigration statuses (such because the H-1B visa) grant work authorization for a particular worksite deal with solely, which suggests any change in a worksite location could set off a requirement to submit a discover and/or amend a submitting.

The primary problem is to know and keep in mind the precise deal with the place a international employee is permitted to work.

The second problem is to contact your immigration legal professional earlier than any change in worksite occurs. A fast cease and examine can save quite a lot of anguish and authorized work. An immigration legal professional will confirm if the proposed change requires any authorized compliance work. That’s vital as a result of the laws require authorized compliance earlier than any change occurs or a technical violation outcomes.

Yikes! We Made a Mistake

The rule sounds easy—cease and examine earlier than a change in worksite is made—however the fluidity of a distant worksite makes the duty difficult to handle in apply.

For instance, if an H-1B employee who is permitted to work remotely from her dwelling in Des Moines, Iowa, begins visiting and dealing remotely from a pal’s home in Denver, Colorado, for weeks at a time, a fabric change in worksite could happen with out anybody realizing the violation.

No work time is misplaced due to the flexibleness of distant work and good Web, however sadly, the danger of a technical violation will increase with every day the employee logs in and works from a location totally different from the precise deal with on the accepted petition.

Technical violations are critical and may end up in fines being assessed to the employer and/or issues with the international employee with the ability to immigrate later.

Too dangerous?

A distant worksite isn’t too dangerous for international staff so long as:

  • Each the employer and the international employee know and keep in mind the precise worksite deal with (location, location, location!) linked to her visa standing; and
  • If a change is needed, the employer and the employee examine the foundations earlier than any change is made, even a brief one.

No matter U.S. citizenship standing, staff working outdoors the employer’s jurisdiction could also be topic to native legal guidelines governing every thing from day without work and security laws to payroll tax withholding. Such issues are vital to remember when a international employee asks about working remotely as nicely.

Denise Claton is an legal professional with the Davis Brown Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa. You possibly can attain her at [email protected].

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