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  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 9:46 am on November 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #BusinessImmigration, #CEO, , #L1A, , ,   

    L-1 Visa Lawsuit Filed to Overrule USCIS Denial 

    This past week, our law firm sued the federal government in U.S. District Court in Miami, over the denial of an extension of an L-1A, intracompany transfer working visa.

    Our client, from Europe, had started his branch office in the USA and has over 10 American workers in Florida. The USCIS, a branch of the Department of Homeland Security had already previously approved him for an L-1A visa to work in the United States. After starting the business here and hiring more than ten employees, it was time to file for an extension of his stay in L-1A status.

    In denying the extension of stay and rendering the business owner out of status, the  government now claimed that he was not a manager or executive who managed management employees, even though all the evidence submitted indicated that he was the CEO of the U.S.-based company.

    President Trump, through an executive order, has stated that the government would give a more difficult time to intracompany transfer workers, but he did not say the USCIS should not follow the law and should not approve cases that clearly qualify under the law.

    This Miami immigration lawyer and Houston immigration lawyer has been suing the federal government on improperly denied immigration visa cases for over thirty years. Normally, such cases are resolved in favor of the foreign national, based on my own personal experience. Moreover, if the government waits for the federal judge to overrule their decision, the federal government is often on the hook to pay attorney’s fees of the foreign national.

    The government is expected to file an answer to the lawsuit in the next 60 days, with a 2021 trial date most likely on the horizon.

    About the author: Bruce Coane is a Miami immigration lawyer and a Houston immigration lawyer and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Coane practices immigration law in all 50 states and has clients all around the world.He may be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com or at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 10:30 am on October 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , #HoustonImmigrationLawyer, #MiamiImmigrationLawyer,   

    The New Public Charge Rules for Immigration Cases 

    In the video below, I talk about the new public charge rules for immigration cases. As an immigration lawyer, I advise clients on all the latest changes in the public charge rules, and I analyze their chances of satisfying the latest definitions when completing the affidavit of support for immigration cases.

    For further information, this Miami immigration lawyer and Houston immigration lawyer may be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, or at bruce.coane@gmail.com.

     

     

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 10:12 am on October 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Houston Employment Attorney, Miami Employment Attorney   

    Employee Rights: Exceptions to Employment at Will 

    Here is a video where I talk about exceptions to employment at will. So many people tell me that they were fired or suffered wrongful termination and never talked to an employment lawyer because their state has employment at will. They are shocked when I tell them that there are EXCEPTIONS to employment at will, and many employees have recourse where they thought they had none. As a lawyer who has handled wrongful termination cases across the United States for over 30 years, I can tell you it is certainly worthwhile to talk to a wrongful termination lawyer or employment lawyer about your legal rights.

    At Coane and Associates, PLLC our wrongful termination lawyers represent individuals in discrimination cases under federal law, throughout America. We can be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800, or by email, bruce.coane@gmail.com.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 10:23 am on October 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Immigration Lawyer Houston, Immigration Lawyer Miami, Public Charge   

    Public Charge Law with Board Certified Immigration Attorney, Bruce Coane 

    In this video, Houston Immigration Lawyer and Miami Immigration Lawyer, Bruce Coane, speaks about the Public Charge law affecting prospective immigrants coming to the U.S. For more information visit http://www.coane.com, call 713-850-0066 or 305.538.6800 or email bruce.coane@gmail.com. Bruce Coane is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:49 pm on July 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , #I-9, #ICEraids, #Notice of Inspection, #W-4   

    Crackdown by ICE Targeting Employers 

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    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/immigration/article233009382.html

    This article appeared in the Miami Herald a few days ago and confirmed my suspicion that ICE was cracking down on employers who possibly hire undocumented workers.

    This immigration lawyer has seen an unusual uptick in I-9 Notice of Inspection cases at my office. I see those types of immigration cases about once every few years, but recently, I saw three in the past six months (two in the past 60 days).

    What exactly is an I-9 case or a Notice of Inspection? Many small employers who do not have an HR department may not be aware of the paperwork requirements under federal immigration law. For example, each time an employer hires a new employee, they must get a completed I-9 form, together with the normal W-4 and other new employee paperwork.

    The I-9 form process is full of traps, so ICE knows that any small employer is an easy target. If any employer fails to perfectly complete the form for each new hire, there are fines for EVERY mistake on each form. That means there can be thousands of dollars of fines for each form not completed correctly, including a fine for failure to complete the form within three days of hire. And, of course, as a Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer, I must inform my clients that there are serious fines and penalties for failure to complete the form at all.

    What if the employer has lots of turnover, like the local hamburger store or a Subway franchise. When ICE hand-delivers the Notice of Inspection, they often ask to see I-9 forms for every employee (including former employees) for the past two, or three years. Imagine what the fine could look like for a small business with lots of turnover and thousands of dollars in fines for each form not done perfectly (or at all).

    When I showed this article to my wife, she asked if the employer has to have I-9 forms for American workers as well. Many small businesses may be shocked at the answer, which is, “yes.”  The I-9 must be on file for EVERY employee, including American citizens.

    Bruce Coane, Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer  is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For further information, I may be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com or at 713.850.0066 (Texas office) or 305.538.6800 (Florida office).

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 4:44 pm on May 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , #ImmigrationDenials,   

    Immigration Update for 2019 

    In this video, I talk about the USA immigration situation through the first quarter of 2019. While illegal immigration gets much of the news, there have been serious attacks on legal immigration as well. Cases for citizenship and green cards are being denied in greatly exaggerated numbers. I discuss these issues, together with immigration delays, improper denials, and what the general public can do about it.

    Bruce Coane is a Board Certified Immigration Lawyer with offices in Houston and Miami Beach. He may be reached at 713.850.0066 or 305.538.6800 or via email at bruce.coane@gmail.com.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 10:32 am on April 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #Taxes, #Undocumented,   

    Undocumented immigrants are paying their taxes 

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    Below is a great article about undocumented immigrants who are paying taxes, and how those various taxes are being paid. This is not new to this immigration lawyer because I have seen, for years, how my undocumented clients pay taxes and often don’t get credit for it.

    The article explains the various ways that these immigrants are paying.

    https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/15/us/taxes-undocumented-immigrants/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_content=2019-04-16T00%3A45%3A03&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_term=link

    Bruce Coane is a Houston immigration lawyer and a Miami immigration lawyer and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He may be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com, or at 305.538.6800 or 713.850.0066.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 9:45 am on April 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #MelaniaTrump, ,   

    Immigration Update with Introduction to EB-1 Extraordinary Workers 

    This video features Immigration Attorney Matt Gaffron of our law firm, discussing the EB-1 extraordinary worker visa. It is a method to obtain a green card to live and work in the United States.

    Bruce Coane is a Houston immigration lawyer and a Miami immigration lawyer and is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He may be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com, or at 305.538.6800 or 713.850.0066.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 3:31 pm on April 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: #Severance, #ConocoPhillips, #Trial   

    ConocoPhillips Severance Pay Trial Starts Today 

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    This is a photo of my trial team as they get ready to go to court today in an employment law trial against Conoco Phillips, the giant oil and gas company.

    The employment law attorneys in this photo are Connor Throckmorton, Alexandra Okolie, and Edwin Villa. They handle discrimination and wrongful termination cases at our office, Coane and Associates, PLLC. Today’s trial in US District Court-Houston involves a claim for severance pay. Our client was terminated by ConocoPhillips and they claimed he was not entitled to severance pay, all the while they were letting others go and paying them severance in accordance with the company plan.

    Defendants in the case include both the company and the Plan Administrators, Frank Alexander and Dan Mecham. Both Mecham and Alexander were sued because they were administrators of the Plan and were involved at one point in the decision to refuse severance pay to our client.

    During the litigation of the case, there were depositions of human resource workers Caroline Churchill and Heather Sirdashney. It is alleged that these two human resource employees played a role in deciding whether to terminate our client with no severance or to allow him to get severance by laying him off.  The company has backed their decision to terminate with no severance.

    ConocoPhillips filed a motion for summary judgment to try to get the lawsuit dismissed, but the federal judge decided the case must go to trial and he refused to dismiss the case. It is expected that the case will last through Friday of this week.

    For further information, contact Bruce Coane at bruce.coane@gmail.com or at 713.850.0066.

     
  • Coane and Associates,PLLC 2:19 pm on March 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , #InterviewDiscrimination, #SexDiscrimination   

    Interview Discrimination: What Employers Legally Can’t Ask Women 

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    Article written by guest blogger: Patrick Foster

    A job interview can be a stressful experience for anyone, even at the best of times. Presenting yourself well, learning about the role, and asking the right questions can be demanding.

    For women, it can be especially frustrating. In a study by the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that employers were twice as likely to hire a man over a woman. And women make up only 4.2% of CEOs and just 19.2% of board members at firms on the Standard & Poor’s 500.

    Facing such a potentially tough landscape as a woman in the workplace, it’s important to be aware of what your rights are during the interview stage. So before your next application, read on for some useful insights and actionable advice that will help you navigate the choppy waters of your job interview.

    How common is interview discrimination against women?

    Since the Civil Rights Act was introduced in 1964, huge strides have been made by women in the workplace. Despite significant progress since then (especially in the past five years), women still experience significant discrimination. 42% of women in the US have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace, and are twice as likely as men to report discrimination based on their gender while at work.

    Unfortunately, this discrimination extends to the interview process as well. Even before joining a company, female interviewees can be subjected to unfair gender-based prejudices and even illegal questioning.

    Women themselves can often be only too aware of this — finding themselves having to either lie or change their behavior or appearance in order to appear more favorable in a job interview.

    Pregnancy

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was enacted to protect the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. With it came a number of stipulations for businesses, including the condition that employers must amend any tasks that a pregnant woman would have to carry out in the course of her day-to-day duties.

    This applies regardless of the industry they work in, whether it’s office work or more physical work.

    Unfortunately, some employers view this as a burden, and as such will take steps to identify during the interview process if a woman is pregnant, or plans to conceive in the near future. The PDA accounts for this, and consequently it is illegal for employers to ask a woman about pregnancy.

    If you are asked this, refuse to answer. But beware: employers may get around this by phrasing it differently, for example: “do you have plans to start a family anytime soon?” or “are you taking birth control?”

    Physical appearance

    It is federal law that employers cannot choose one job applicant over another based on their physical appearance instead of their experience and qualifications. Unfortunately, women’s experiences of this happening to them are only too common.

    In your interview, watch out for red flags such as your potential employer commenting on your appearance, no matter how minor it might seem. For example, be aware of questions such as “do you do your makeup like that everyday?”.

    If you are asked anything about your appearance, firmly but politely state that you would prefer not to discuss it.

    Age

    This is especially common, particularly as the global recession forces more and more older people to stay in work in order to make ends meet. Unfortunately, despite federal labor laws intended to prevent discrimination, women in particular find their age a point of contention during job interviews.

    That said, it is not illegal to ask someone their age during a job interview.

    However, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 does declare discrimination on this basis illegal for people over 40. There are also some state laws that protect younger workers from age discrimination too. However, this can make it tricky to know how to respond if asked.

    As such, if you are asked about your age, redirect them by being forthright about your experience, skills, and qualifications.

    Show them that you know what the role demands and that you are the perfect candidate for the role. Subtly but firmly make clear that your age is just a number, and that your skills and personality are what matters.

    Relationship status

    Federal and several state laws prohibit employers from querying the relationship status of a candidate. While discrimination based on marital status is not explicitly referred to, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act states that businesses cannot discriminate on the grounds of sex. Discrimination on the basis of marital status is often considered discrimination on the basis of sex in the eyes of the law.

    Be wary of personal questions and refuse to discuss it if it comes up. If they contest this, refer to the law and simply state you are not comfortable talking about it. It is your right as a candidate to not discuss your marital status.

    So what can women do?

    It might feel impossible to combat discrimination during or after a job interview, but there are lots of things women can do to combat and prevent this.

    Don’t give too much away

    When you’re applying for a job, be careful not to reveal any personal information about yourself accidentally that is not related to the role itself.

    This often happens before the interview during small talk, as it is easy to let slip private information when your guard is down. To avoid this, keep your written and verbal contact prior to the interview friendly but professional, and think before you speak.

    Take legal advice

    If you feel you have been a victim of interview discrimination, you should lodge a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They will look into your claim and determine whether a breach of US law has been made. If this is the case, they will begin legal proceedings.

    If you feel you have been unfairly discriminated against during an interview, you should consider getting a free initial case review from a legal professional. They will consider your situation and advise how you can or should proceed. Speak to a local attorney and request a free initial case review to weigh your options.

    Don’t take to social media

    If you have had a negative experience during or after a job interview and felt as though you were treated unfairly in the process, it can be tempting to voice your indignation on social media.

    However, this is not always wise. Naming and shaming a business or individual can often lead to legal proceedings against the complainant, and can interfere with any investigation into the discrimination against you.

    If you do take to social media to vent your concerns, avoid anything that could possibly identify the employer. That includes specifics such as their name and address, but also general information such as their industry. Play it safe, and follow the steps above rather than taking to social media.

    Beware of leading statements

    It is illegal for employers to make statements that would draw a response from the candidate related to their family or marital status.

    For example, if a potential employer said that they have to leave early once a week to take their children to sports practice, that could potentially encourage the candidate to elaborate on their family situation too.

    We have made huge leaps for women in the workplace in the past few years. More and more women are succeeding in business and the number of females in senior roles is growing, albeit slowly.

    Despite this, the hiring process for female candidates is still rife with discrimination. Do your research and know your rights as a potential employee, and discuss only that which you are legally obliged to.

    If you feel you have been unfairly discriminated against, take the necessary recommended steps to ensure you are protected, as both a candidate and a woman.

    For further information, this Houston immigration lawyer and Miami immigration lawyer may be reached at bruce.coane@gmail.com or at 305.538.6800 or 713.850.0066

     
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