United Arab Emirates; Saudi Arabia: New Multiple Entry Visa Regulating Residency of Foreigners to Be Issued During FIFA World Cup

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

In August 2022, the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia announced the issuance of new multiple-entry visas regulating the residency of foreign nationals attending the FIFA World Cup Soccer Tournament in Qatar beginning November 20, 2022.

Because Qatar anticipates hosting over 1.2 million people during the tournament, it expects accommodation shortages, so the country is relying on the support of other member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to alleviate pressure. Accordingly, agreements have been made with several airlines in the region to provide shuttle flights for fans to travel to and from Qatar on match days from neighboring GCC countries. The new Saudi and Emirati multiple-entry visas will facilitate the passage of these fans between the countries.

Saudi Arabia’s New Entry Visa

On August 24, 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that holders of the Hayya [Let us go] Card issued by Qatar for attendees of the tournament are able to apply for an e-visa that will allow them to enter Saudi Arabia 10 days before the start of the tournament. Foreign nationals, who obtain the Saudi entry visa are permitted to stay for 60 days with the ability to reenter.

In addition, the Saudi Ministry of Tourism announced on September 2 that permanent residents of the United Kingdom, Europe Union, and United States are allowed entry into the country by applying for a visa on arrival, as are holders of valid tourist or business visas from the United States, United Kingdom, and Schengen Area countries. The Saudi authorities require that the aforementioned visa holders have used their visa at least once before applying for a visa on arrival.

Additionally, GCC residents with a valid residency visa of at least three months are able to apply for an e-visa to enter the kingdom. Immediate relatives of permanent residents and visa holders who accompany the main visa holder are also permitted to enter.

UAE Visa Permit

The government of the UAE made a similar announcement on August 30, 2022. The Emirati authorities will permit Hayya Cardholders to apply for a multiple-entry visa that will allow them to stay in the UAE for 90 days.

Hayya Cardholders

Besides being granted the right to enter Qatar, foreign nationals holding Hayya Cards will benefit from other perks, such as using public transportation for free during the tournament. The card is required for anyone entering Qatar between November 1, 2022, and January 23, 2023. This includes GCC residents who normally have the ability to enter the country through their government ID. Currently, only those with game tickets are able to obtain Hayya cards.

Prepared by Ali Ebshara, Law Library intern, under the supervision of George Sadek, Foreign Law Specialist

Cities and Counties CHIPS for America Strategy Paper Briefing with NACo, NLC, and USCM

Source: US Government research organizations

This is a joint webinar with the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, and the United States Conference of Mayors, designed for stakeholders representing cities, counties, and members of the general public. We will review the recently released CHIPS for America Strategy Paper and CHIPS Program Office staff will conduct a live presentation and answer questions submitted in advance or live through the chat.   

The recently established CHIPS Program Office is responsible for administering CHIPS for America, a suite of programs to strengthen and revitalize the U.S. position in semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing.

BACKGROUND

In 2022, President Joe Biden signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which provides the Department of Commerce with $50 billion for semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing—while also investing in American workers.

These programs seek to restore U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing by providing incentives and encouraging investment to expand the domestic manufacturing capacity necessary to produce the most advanced semiconductors needed for applications in AI and high-performance computing, as well as less advanced semiconductors that remain critical components of everything from automobiles to microwave ovens. In addition to major manufacturing investments, these programs will also create a dynamic new center for innovation and research, laying the groundwork for the creation of the next generation industries. 

H.R. 7778, Department of Homeland Security Seal Protection Act of 2022

Source: US Congressional Budget Office

H.R. 7778 would create new criminal penalties for individuals, organizations, or businesses that use the official seal of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a manner that conveys the agency’s approval. Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, deposited in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Crime Victims Fund, and later spent without further appropriation action.

Under current law, several federal entities, including the Department of Treasury, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the U.S. Marine Corps, have similar protections for their respective seals. Based on information from DOJ regarding criminal penalties charged for the fraudulent use of these agencies’ seals, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 7778 would increase revenues and direct spending by less than $500,000 over the 2023-2032 period, resulting in an insignificant effect on the deficit over the same period.

Based on conversations with DHS, CBO does not anticipate that implementing H.R. 7778 would result in any additional administrative costs.

H.R. 7778 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.

US Department of Labor announces selection of OSHA Training Institute Education Centers

Source: US Department of Labor

October 4, 2022
Contact: Office of Communications
Phone: 202-693-1999

US Department of Labor announces selection of
OSHA Training Institute Education Centers

Centers extend safety and health training opportunities throughout US

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the addition of a new organization to its OSHA Training Institute Education Center network and the renewal of 25 existing education centers. OTI Education Centers are non-profit organizations that offer training courses on OSHA standards and occupational safety and health topics to workers and employers across the country.

Since 1992, the OTI Education Center program has provided training nationwide to private sector and federal personnel from agencies outside OSHA and trained more than 42,000 people in fiscal year 2022.

The centers also help administer OSHA’s Outreach Training Program and fulfill the program’s monitoring requirements. They are the sole distribution channel for Outreach Training Program trainer courses, including OSHA standards and update courses. The program trained more than three million people from fiscal 2020 through fiscal 2022. This voluntary program is not a training requirement of any OSHA standard.

Following a national competition, the new and renewed OTI Education Centers were announced on April 18, 2022. The competition evaluated applicants on organizational commitment, experience and qualifications; staff experience and qualifications; location and training facilities; marketing and administrative capabilities; Diversity Equity Inclusion and Accessibility; and language accessibility.

OSHA does not fund OTI Education Centers. The centers are supported through established tuition and fee structures and provide instructors and facilities. For more information on the OTI Education Centers Program, the Outreach Training Program, and the Office of Training and Education, please visit the OSHA Training webpage.

The new and renewed OTI Education Centers are listed below. An asterisk indicates the new center for 2022:

Region I
Keene State College – Manchester, NH

Region II
Atlantic OSHA Training Center, a consortium that includes Rutgers School of Public Health – Somerset, NJ (lead organization); Universidad Ana G. Mendez – Bayamon, PR; and University at Buffalo – Buffalo, NY

Rochester Institute of Technology – Rochester, NY

Region III
National Resource Center, a consortium that includes West Virginia University – Morgantown, WV (lead organization); and CPWR – Center for Construction Research & Training – Silver Spring, MD

Mid Atlantic, a consortium comprised that includes Chesapeake Region Safety Council – Baltimore, MD (lead organization); and Northampton Community College – Bethlehem, PA

Region IV
Eastern Kentucky University – Richmond, KY

University of South Florida – Wesley Chapel, FL

Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, GA

Southeastern OTI Education Center, a consortium that includes North Carolina State University – Raleigh, NC (lead organization); and University of Tennessee – Nashville, TN

The University of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, AL

Volunteer State Community College – Gallatin, TN

Region V
Mid-America OTI Education Center, a consortium that includes Ohio Valley Construction Education Foundation – Springboro, OH

Great Lakes OSHA Education Center, a consortium that includes University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine – Cincinnati, OH (lead organization); Eastern Michigan University – Ypsilanti, MI; and UAW Health & Safety Department – Detroit, MI

National Safety Education Center, a consortium that includes Northern Illinois University – DeKalb, IL (lead organization); and Construction Safety Council – Hillside, IL

Region VI
Texas A&M University Engineering Extension (TEEX) – College Station, TX

University of Texas at Arlington – Arlington, TX

Mid-South OTI Education Center, a consortium that includes Alliance Safety Council – Baton Rouge, LA (lead organization); and Louisiana State University – Baton Rouge, LA

Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, OK

Region VII
Great Plains OSHA Education Center, a consortium that includes Metropolitan Community College – Independence, MO (lead organization); Barton County Community College – Grandview Plaza, KS; and Saint Louis University College for Public Health & Social Justice – St. Louis, MO  

Region VIII
Mountain West OSHA Education Center – Salt Lake City, UT

*Construction Education Foundation – Denver, CO

Region IX
University of California, San Diego – La Jolla, CA

Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ

California State University, Dominguez Hills – Carson, CA

Chabot-Las Positas – Pleasanton, CA

Region X
University of Washington – Seattle, WA

For information on the geographic areas served by OSHA’s Regional Offices, visit https://www.osha.gov/contactus/bystate.

Learn more about OSHA.

# # #

Biden to shirk House Dems on NY trip

Source: US National Republican Congressional Committee

The following text contains opinion that is not, or not necessarily, that of MIL-OSI –


October 4, 2022


Joe Biden is planning to visit New York this week, but he’s already counting out House Democrats.

Biden’s agenda includes two fundraisers in New Jersey and New York that benefit the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, respectively.

But Sean Patrick Maloney’s DCCC is nowhere on the agenda, even as Biden visits the district Maloney abandoned to lose an even bluer seat.

NRCC Comment: “Even Joe Biden knows House Democrats have no chance at holding the majority.” – NRCC Spokeswoman Samantha Bullock


Politico moves CT-05 to “Toss Up”

Source: US National Republican Congressional Committee

The following text contains opinion that is not, or not necessarily, that of MIL-OSI –


October 4, 2022


Politico has moved CT-05 from “Lean Democratic” to “Toss Up,” noting Republicans have the best shot in more than a decade to win in Connecticut thanks to George Logan’s “stiff challenge” to Jahana Hayes.

Hayes is floundering as the untested incumbent doubles down on her claim that “Democrats single-handedly saved the economy” and is set to appear with Kamala Harris as a reminder that she’s a rubber stamp for the Biden Administration.

NRCC Comment: “Jahana Hayes has found herself on the brink of losing her seat thanks to her blind partisan loyalty to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s failed agenda.” – NRCC Spokeswoman Samantha Bullock


US Department of Labor awards $2M grant to help improve labor conditions, prevent forced, child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry

Source: US Department of Labor

WASHINGTON The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the award of a $2 million cooperative agreement to support the improvement of labor conditions and prevent forced labor and child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry.

Administered by the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the funding will support a project in which the Solidarity Center and its co-implementer, the Center for International Private Enterprise, will strengthen worker voice and build the capacity of local cotton businesses to adhere to international labor standards and enact effective labor compliance systems. 

The world’s sixth largest producer of cotton, Uzbekistan generates more than one million tons annually. Its annual cotton harvest employs about two million workers – the world’s largest seasonal labor mobilization – from which approximately half of these workers derive their entire annual income. For decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan’s government enforced strong, centralized control of cotton production, forcing farmers and seasonal workers, including children, to meet quotas for planting and picking cotton.

“Uzbekistan’s commitment to labor standards compliance has renewed international interest in sourcing and investing in cotton grown there,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “To take advantage of these economic growth opportunities, employers must provide decent working conditions and respect the voices and rights of workers. At the same time, workers will need tools to advocate for good labor practices and participate in labor standards compliance systems.”   

In 2017, a new government initiated broad reforms and pledged to eliminate forced labor. The government’s efforts to promote public awareness of forced labor prohibitions and identify violations and penalize offenders have markedly reduced forced labor and child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry. Today, the industry is moving toward to a privately managed “cluster” system of regional cotton and textile firms that buy cotton from local farmers or farm it directly.  

On Sept. 28, 2022, ILAB updated its global list of goods produced by child labor or forced labor, removing cotton from Uzbekistan after finding significant reductions in the prevalence of forced labor.

Allied with the AFL-CIO, the Solidarity Center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization that assists workers across the globe in fighting discrimination, exploitation and the systems that entrench poverty to achieve shared prosperity in the global economy.

The Center for International Private Enterprise is one of four institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy, and an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The center works to craft business-driven solutions to social-economic problems that affect millions of people worldwide.

Learn more about the department’s work in Uzbekistan.

Court enters consent order requiring Connecticut, New York-based bakeries to pay $952K to 74 employees following US Labor Department investigation, litigation

Source: US Department of Labor

HARTFORD, CT – An investigation and litigation by the U.S. Department of Labor have resulted in a federal court ordering three bakeries located in Danbury, Connecticut, and Mount Vernon, New York, and their owner/officer to pay nearly $1 million in back wages and liquidated damages to 74 employees to resolve violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Wage and Hour Division investigators found that Pedro Coelho and Coelho’s businesses – Padaminas NY Bakery II LLC, Padaminas NY Bakery LLC and Padaminas Brazilian Bakery Inc. – willfully violated the FLSA’s overtime requirements when they paid employees, primarily bakers and counter staff, who worked more than 40 hours per week straight time instead of time-and-a-half their regular pay rates. The employers also failed to keep records of employees’ work hours and compensation paid.

The consent judgment and order, entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, requires Coelho and his businesses to pay $952,433 – $476,216 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages – to the 74 affected employees. The employers also must pay $41,568 in civil money penalties to the department due to the violations’ willful nature.

The order prohibits the defendants from violating the FLSA’s overtime and recordkeeping requirements and requires them to cooperate with department FLSA investigations and provide truthful responses, information and documents to investigators. It also prohibits them from soliciting employees to “kick back” the wages or liquidated damages.

View the consent judgment and order.

“This is a significant recovery of back wages and liquidated damages for low-wage workers in Connecticut and New York, who were deprived of the hard-earned wages they rightfully earned and that their families need to make ends meet,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Donald Epifano in Hartford. “Such violations are avoidable if employers take the time to know and understand their responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Wage and Hour Division is available to answer questions and address concerns and will not tolerate attempts to circumvent federal employment laws.”

“Wage theft is egregious and illegal,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston. “The U.S. Department of Labor continues to pursue investigations and legal actions to ensure employees are properly compensated for their work and hold accountable those employers who refuse or fail to comply with the FLSA.”

The division’s Hartford District Office conducted the investigation. The department’s regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston filed the complaint and consent judgment in this case.

In fiscal year 2021, the Wage and Hour Division conducted more than 4,200 investigations in the food services industry, recovering $34.7 million for 29,209 workers.

The FLSA requires that most employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at not less than time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Employers and workers can call the division confidentially with questions. The department can speak with callers confidentially in more than 200 languages and regardless of immigration status through the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App, now available for android devices, to ensure hours and pay are accurate. 

Sonic franchise operator fined nearly $42K after federal investigation finds teens allowed to work beyond legal limits at three Wichita-area locations

Source: US Department of Labor

NEWTON, KS – For many teens, working at a fast-food restaurant is a first job. For 50 teens – ages 14 and 15 – working at three Sonic drive-in locations near Wichita – that meant being employed in excess of the number of hours allowed by child labor laws and during nighttime hours not permitted by law, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found. 

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found BBR Investments LLC based in Newton, owner of 17 Sonic locations in Kansas, permitted minors at the three of its restaurants to consistently work more than 3 hours on a school day, more than 18 hours in a school week, and more than 8 hours on a non-school day. The employer also allowed them to work later than 7 p.m. during the school year, and later than 9 p.m. from June 1st through Labor Day. All of these employment practices violate child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The division assessed $41,998 in civil money penalties for violations at the drive-in locations in Newton, Hutchinson, and McPherson.

“Federal child labor laws allow for youth employment but specify when and how long these young people can work, and what hazardous occupations must be avoided so their safety and well-being are never compromised,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Reed Trone in Kansas City, Missouri. “BBR Investments could have avoided costly penalties by making sure they followed the law.”

The division found violations at the following Sonic locations:

Address

City

# of minors

Penalties

215 N. Main St.

Newton

34

$24,956

621 E. 4th St.

Hutchinson

6

$9,702

10 E. Kansas Ave.

McPherson

10

$7,340

The FLSA prohibits 14- and 15-year-old employees from working later than 9 p.m. from June 1 through Labor Day and past 7 p.m., the remainder of the year. Additionally, they cannot work more than 3 hours on a school day, 8 hours on a non-school day or more than 18 hours per week. The law also prohibits minors from operating motor vehicles, forklifts and using other hazardous equipment.

In 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that young workers between 16 and 19 years old comprised nearly 12 percent of the nation’s workforce. As businesses fill job openings with minors new to the workforce, it is essential that employers understand and comply with child labor rules. 

To assist employers in avoiding violations, and inform young workers and their parents, the division has published its “Seven Child Labor Best Practices for Employers.”

For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.

Download the agency’s new Timesheet App Timesheet App for Android and iOS devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.

US Department of Labor, Loomis Armored US enter agreement resolving alleged race- and gender-based hiring discrimination at Houston facility

Source: US Department of Labor

HOUSTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has entered into a conciliation agreement with a leading armored security provider to the financial industry to resolve alleged systemic race- and gender-based hiring discrimination at its Houston facility.

The agreement follows a routine compliance evaluation by the department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs that alleged  – from April 3, 2017, through April 3, 2019 – Loomis Armored US LLC discriminated against 355 Black male and female applicants, and 181 other female applicants, when hiring for cash management service teller positions. The alleged actions violate Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment based race, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin.

Loomis Armored US has agreed to pay $375,000, in back wages to 536 Black and female applicants, and to revise its recruiting and selection procedures to ensure its personnel practices meet legal requirements. In addition, the employer will extend job opportunities to 24 affected Black and female applicants at its facilities nationwide.

“Our agreement with Loomis Armored US LLC will resolve alleged violations discovered in a routine compliance audit, compensate affected job applicants, and ensure the employer complies with federal hiring and employment laws,” explained Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Regional Director Melissa Speer in Dallas.

During the period that OFCCP reviewed, the company had federal contracts with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, IRS, Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Park Service and the Defense Commissary Agency.

Founded in 1925 as Loomis Armored Car Service, the company was the first to transport cash in the Western U.S. in armored vehicles. Today, Loomis Armored US LLC has nearly 200 locations, and more than 9,000 employees and 3,000 vehicles. It provides products and services to financial institutions and commercial and retail businesses nationwide.

OFCCP launched the Class Member Locator to identify applicants or workers who may be entitled to monetary relief and/or consideration for job placement as a result of OFCCP’s compliance evaluations and complaint investigations. If you think you may be a class member employed by Loomis Armored US LLC, learn more about this and other settlements.

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.