Just Ask Jacob: Be prepared if ICE comes calling with a warrant
Q : We employ a large number of seasonal workers, many with temporary work visas, at several different sites. We also have a main office. We would like to train our frontline employees on what to do if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows up with a warrant for an immigration raid. What should we tell our receptionist at the main office? What should we tell our managers and site supervisors at the other worksites?
A : When ICE arrives for an immigration raid, you can check to make sure the agents actually have an arrest warrant. If they don’t, you don’t have to allow them access to your worksite. However, if they arrive with a warrant, they must be allowed access. Employees have the right to remain silent, including in response to questions about where they were born or how they got to the United States. Employees should ask to speak to an attorney before they talk to ICE officials or sign anything.
Q : We have learned that a telecommuting employee has relocated to another country and is registered as a temporary resident there. Our company isn’t registered as a business in that country. What should we do?
A : The answer to your question depends on the nature of your business and the country the telecommuting employee now resides in. For instance, if the employee’s job is to sell products in his area, you may be doing business in a foreign country. If the employee is merely performing work for your U.S.-based company, there may not be an issue. However, the employee should consult with an attorney in the country of residence about local laws on foreign income.
Q : We accidentally overpaid an employee by double. We have tried to work with him on repayment, but he is ignoring our requests to rectify the situation. What recourse do we have? May we deduct the overage from his next paycheck?
A : Generally, you may deduct the overage. You should consult with the employee first to ensure the deduction won’t greatly inconvenience him. Also, consider deducting the overpayment in smaller amounts over a period of time.
Q : We currently don’t require a doctor’s certification when an employee goes out on medical leave, but we have an employee who wants to take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to care for an ill relative in another country. May we require medical certification in this case?
A : Under the FMLA, you can require medical certification when an employee requests leave for his own or a family member’s serious health condition. You should be consistent when you apply the certification requirement and seek it from all employees who request FMLA leave. Note that although you can request certification for a serious health condition of an employee or his family member, you cannot request certification for leave to bond with a newborn child or a child placed for adoption or foster care.
Jacob M. Monty, the managing partner of Monty & Ramirez, LLP, practices at the intersection of immigration and labor law. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 281-493-5529. ✤