Beginning March 30, 2023, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) criminal investigation and enforcement will be beefed up by a new authority to issue certifications to provide U Nonimmigrant Status and T Nonimmigrant Status visas to noncitizens to remain in the U.S. to assist in OSHA investigations without fear of deportation or other retaliation.
“U Visas” and “T Visas” allow non-citizen victims of specific crimes to help law enforcement detect, investigate and prosecute crimes without fear of retaliation based on their immigration status by providing them immigration status that allows them to remain in the U.S. to assist authorities in combatting human trafficking and other crimes.
Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined Assistant OSHA Secretary Doug Parker to sign a memorandum granting OSHA authority to issue these certifications on February 13. The memorandum for the first time gives OSHA the ability o issue these visa certifications during its workplace safety investigations when the agency identifies manslaughter, trafficking, extortion, felonious assault, forced labor, obstruction of justice or other qualifying criminal violations.
OSHA hopes this new authority will strengthen its ability to secure cooperation of witnesses with immigration status or other social and cultural inequities that discourage them from sharing information with investigators or reporting workplace safety and health issues.
The new authority could enhance OSHA’s ability to investigate and prosecute criminal occupational health and safety and a wide range of other federal laws where non-citizen employees or other noncitizens are victims or witnesses. This new authority could significantly affect criminal conviction risks for businesses using other noncitizen labor as employees.
We hope this update is helpful. For more information about the these or other health or other legal, management or public policy developments, please contact the author Cynthia Marcotte Stamer via e-mail or via telephone at (214) 452 -8297.
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About the Author
Recognized by her peers as a Martindale-Hubble “AV-Preeminent” (Top 1%) and “Top Rated Lawyer” with special recognition LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® as “LEGAL LEADER™ Texas Top Rated Lawyer” in Health Care Law and Labor and Employment Law; as among the “Best Lawyers In Dallas” for her work in the fields of “Labor & Employment,” “Tax: ERISA & Employee Benefits,” “Health Care” and “Business and Commercial Law” by D Magazine, Cynthia Marcotte Stamer is a practicing attorney board certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and management consultant, author, public policy advocate and lecturer widely known for 35+ years of workforce and other management work, public policy leadership and advocacy, coaching, teachings, scholarship and thought leadership.
A Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefit Counsel, Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (“ABA”) International Section Life Sciences and Health Committee, Past Chair of the ABA Managed Care & Insurance Interest Group, Scribe for the ABA JCEB Annual Agency Meeting with HHS-OCR, past chair of the the ABA RPTE Employee Benefits & Other Compensation Group and current co-Chair of its Welfare Benefit Committee, Ms. Stamer’s work throughout her 35 year career has focused heavily on working with health care and managed care, health and other employee benefit plan, insurance and financial services and other public and private organizations and their technology, data, and other service providers and advisors domestically and internationally with legal and operational compliance and risk management, performance and workforce management, regulatory and public policy and other legal and operational concerns. As an ongoing component of this work, she regularly advises, represents and defends HIPAA covered entities, business associates and other organizations on HIPAA and other cyber, privacy and data security concerns and has published and spoken extensively on these concerns.
Ms. Stamer also is widely recognized for her decades of pragmatic, leading edge work, scholarship and thought leadership on health, health plan and managed care industry, workplace safer and occupational health, public health and safety, and other health care operations, risk management, compliance and regulatory and public affairs.
For more information about Ms. Stamer or her health industry and other experience and involvements, see www.cynthiastamer.com or contact Ms. Stamer via telephone at (214) 452-8297 or via e-mail here.
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