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Compliance News Flash – March 24, 2020

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP is pleased to provide you with the Compliance News Flash, which includes current news briefs relevant to background screening, immigration and data privacy, for the benefit and interest of our clients as well as employers and consumer reporting agencies generally.

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will defer the in-person requirement associated with the Form I-9. Employers with employees taking social distancing precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. This policy will remain in effect for a period of 60 days beginning March 20th or until three business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever is first. Once normal operations resume, all employers who were on-boarded during this time must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of the document(s) presented for section 2 of the Form I-9. And, it is important for employers to understand that although the in-person requirement is waived, the Form I-9 must still be completed within three business days of hire. Click here to read more and click here for a full overview of COVID-19 related guidance issued by DHS addressing Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance.
  • In response to COVID-19, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has suspended routine in-person services until at least April 1st. USCIS staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public, and will continue to provide emergency services in limited situations. This means that the service centers will continue to process nonimmigrant petitions such as H-1B and L petitions. It also means that the H-1B random lottery will take place later this month. Click here and here to read more.
  • Countries and regions have enacted extensive travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. The European Union (EU) has banned all nonessential travel into Europe for at least 30 days. There are exemptions for long-term residents of the EU, health care workers, and the transport of goods. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory which advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel and asks U.S. citizens abroad to arrange for immediate return to the U.S. or risk being forced to remain outside the United States for an indefinite timeframe. And, the United States has reached agreements with both Canada and Mexico to limit travel across their respective borders to “essential travel.” Click here and here and here to read more.
  • A coalition of businesses has asked the California Attorney General to delay enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in light of the strain that COVID-19 is putting on businesses. The CCPA, which took effect January 1, 2020, allows the Attorney General to begin enforcement actions on July 1, 2020. The coalition urges the Attorney General to delay the enforcement date arguing that “[d]eveloping innovative business procedures to comply with brand-new legal requirements is a formidable undertaking on its own, but it is an especially tall order when there are no dedicated, on-site staff available to build and test necessary new systems and processes.” The coalition also points to the ongoing revisions to the draft regulations which complicate compliance efforts even further. Click here to read more.
  • Countries are using location data collected from individuals’ mobile phones to monitor the spread of COVID-19. Israel, China, and South Korea are all using mobile data to track the movements of individuals who have tested positive for the coronavirus and to monitor those with whom they have been in contact. In what appears to be a more privacy-conscious approach, the U.S. government is in talks with Facebook, Google, and other tech companies to use aggregated anonymized location information to help health authorities determine the impact of social distancing, without sharing data about any individual’s location, movement, or contacts. Click here and click here to read more.

If you have any questions or need assistance on any point raised in this Compliance News Flash please contact:


Montserrat C. Miller
Partner, Atlanta Office


Erin E. Doyle
Associate, Atlanta Office


The information presented provides a general summary and/or recent legal and regulatory developments. It is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
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