Two news stories involving the intersection between the COVID-19 pandemic and employment law have been recently reported. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth has previously discussed both circumstances found in these recent news stories. Issue 1: Your employer can fire you for not being vaccinated
. Issue 2: Exaggerating illness can lead to termination and possible criminal charges
It was reported on Thursday that CNN had fired three employees for coming in to work at one of the company's offices while unvaccinated. The news came to light when a memo was sent to company employees by CNN President Jeff Zucker. The memo specified that company policy states that vaccines are mandatory if an employee could come into contact with another employee and that there is a zero-tolerance policy on the issue. CNN does not require proof of vaccination for its workers yet, so it was unclear how the fired employees were determined to be unvaccinated.
See the news article here
It was reported on Wednesday that a firefighter for the city of Dallas was charged with felony theft for requesting and receiving paid time off for falsely claiming to have tested positive for the coronavirus. In March, the accused firefighter reported to his work that his wife had tested positive for the coronavirus. His work accepted his report, providing him paid time off. After a week, the firefighter again called the department and reported his daughter had just tested positive and was granted an extra week of paid time off. Then, two days prior to his expected return, he reported that he himself had tested positive. He was granted another week of leave. In total, the firefighter was granted over $12,000 in paid leave.
After his return, the firefighter was asked for documentation of the positive coronavirus tests for him and his family. Unable to produce them, he admitted to making the entire episode up. According to bank records, at least part of his paid leave was spent on vacation.
See the news article here
Advance parole is an immigration travel document that can make it very easy for immigrants seeking asylum or permanent residence to leave and re-enter the United States without harming their pending immigration applications. Leaving the country while awaiting a green card or asylum hearing, even if you have been in the United States legally, could lead to being refused entry upon your return. Worse, your pending immigration application would be rejected due to “abandonment”.
Advance parole is received by filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. For non-emergency travel, it can take several months for the form to be processed by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and a decision to be reached, so it is strongly suggested to plan ahead. For emergency travel, such as a death in the family, medical concerns, or extreme business hardships, USCIS may issue a same-day advance parole document after an appointment at a local field office. For emergency advance parole to be considered, applicants should bring a completed and signed Form I-131, the correct filing fee, two passport-style photos, and evidence of the emergency to their appointment.
It is important to note that advance parole does not guarantee re-entry into the United States. Similar to a visa, everyone who is not a US citizen is subject to an immigration review prior to being admitted into the country. Some common reasons for being denied admission, even while possessing a valid advance parole document, include legal status expiring prior to reentry or previous unlawful presence in the country.
When seeking advance parole, the most important things are completing the Form I-131 accurately, submitting it with the appropriate evidence with enough time to receive the travel documents prior to leaving the country, and completing biometrics capture at an Application Support Center (ASC) prior to departure. If you are an immigrant to the United States and are planning to travel outside of the country, an experienced immigration law firm can help you determine if seeking advance parole is right for your situation. If advance parole would be of benefit, the immigration lawyers at the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you complete the process quickly and accurately. We provide free consultations at 888-517-9888.