The Management Series
Oct 2017

How to Deal with DACA Decision

Amid all the loud arguments and confusing talk of legislative deals, one thing is clear about the 5-year-old DACA program that allows so-called Dreamers to work in the country legally: As things stand now, employers will be expected to dismiss these undocumented workers in March of next year.

However, employment law experts at Littler Mendelson warned businesses that the timing for complying with rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is tricky.

“Employers may not … terminate employees now on the basis that their [authorization] is expiring at a future date,” Littler said.

The firm also explains the ins and outs of what to do if authorization for DACA employees expires before the March 5, 2018, deadline or if they are waiting for an extension for their authorization to be approved.

Jonathan Segal of Duane Morris’s employment practice group tackled some of the softer, murkier questions surrounding DACA workers—how to deal with the politics of DACA in the workplace.

In the Entrepreneur article “Guidelines for How Employers Should Respond to DACA Uncertainty,” Segal made three key points:

--Avoid polarizing your workplace with political statements. Employers can offer pledges of support and help for DACA employees without straying into divisive political territory.

--Don’t make promises you can’t keep. “No one knows what the status of the law will be on March 5, 2018.  As sympathetic as you may be, you cannot promise that you will protect these employees if the law is to the contrary.”

--Don’t encourage workers to lobby for or against DACA. It’s fine to tell employees to contact their House members or senators if they ask you how they can help DACA workers. “But make clear … whether they choose to reach out to their representatives is entirely voluntary.”

While your company is making plans for complying with DACA, keep in mind that the situation is extremely fluid. A legislative solution is possible. And President Trump has said he might revisit the program if Congress does not act.

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