Sunday, September 30, 2012


The Maryland General Assembly recently passed a new law prohibiting employers from requesting or requiring employees or applicants disclose usernames, passwords, or other information aimed at accessing their personal, electronic accounts.  This includes social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. 
The law is effective October 1, 2012.

The Washington Post

By Published: April 15
Maryland employers: hands off your employees’ Facebook passwords.
Employers cannot require workers and job applicants to turn over passwords to private social media accounts as a condition of employment, state legislators decided last week in the passage of a first-of-its-kind bill.

Maryland is the first state to pass such a measure; similar proposals are pending in California, Illinois and Michigan. Employment law experts say the move sets important limits on employers’ reach when it comes to the privacy of their employees — and that of friends and family in their online networks — at a time social media plays an ever-increasing role in people’s personal and professional lives.
SB 433 (HB 964), which needs the signature of Gov. Martin O’Malley to become law, was not part of the batch of bills the governor signed Tuesday and O’Malley’s office said it did not know if and when it would land on the governor’s desk.

The bill doesn’t mention social media platforms by name, but the issue surfaced last year after Robert Collins, a former officer with the state’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, complained about being asked to provide his Facebook log-in information during a recertification interview. The department in 2010 began asking prospective employees for user names and passwords to Facebook accounts as part of a background check to screen employees for gang affiliations, but suspended the practice after the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland filed a complaint on Collins’s behalf, claiming the practice violated his personal privacy.
A second bill, SB 434 (HB 746), which would have outlawed universities from requiring students and college applicants to disclose user names and passwords for personal electronic accounts, passed in the Senate but died in the House. The bill came on the heels of a growing number of universities hiring third-party vendors to monitor student athletes’ Tweets and Facebook posts by having students install social media monitoring software onto personal electronic devices.
Brad Shear, a Bethesda attorney who worked with state Sen. Ronald Young’s (D) office on both bills, said banning employers from collecting password-protected information is a win for both employees and companies.
“It not only protects employees’ privacy, it also protects employers,” said Shear, who in 2010 helped draft Maryland’s election laws regulating candidates’ use of social media pages. “It protects [employers] from having to create new legal duties and liabilities and compliance costs.”

Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency: Bulletin. Issue 1 2012

Region Four officials being trained by CDC in shelter management
Guyana Times, Guyana, September 19th, 2012 ( - The Civil Defence Commission (CDC) continues its efforts to have officials trained in various aspects of disaster management, with the aim of boosting the country’s responsiveness in the event of a catastrophe.
CDEMA director notes significant progress
Antigua Observer, Antigua, September 8th, 2012 ( )- Executive Director of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Jeremy Collymore lauded the strides that have been made in disaster management over the past two decades. Collymore, who will be demitting office, has been a part of CDEMA from its inception in 1991. He said over the course of his tenure he has noticed institutional change in the way member states manage disasters.
Tsunami Watch for Caribbean cancelled
The public is asked to note the cancellation of the Tsunami Watch issued today, September 5, 2012 at 10.45 a.m for the Caribbean by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC). The Tsunami Watch was issued in error by the PTWC following a 7.9 magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Click here for details.
Tropical Storm Isaac - Information Note #2: -Tropical Storm Isaac nearing the Lesser Antilles (as of 8.00am EST Wednesday, August 22, 2012)
Tropical Storm warnings are in effect for Dominica, St.Kitts/Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat and Anguilla and the Virgin Islands as of 8.00pm Wednesday, August 22, 2012. A Hurricane Watch is also in effect for the Virgin Islands.
Tropical Depression 9 -Information Note #1: Tropical Storm warnings and watches issued for several CDEMA States as Tropical Depression 9 moves closer to the central Lesser Antilles (As of 2:00pm EST Tuesday, August 21, 2012).

Friday, September 28, 2012

DHS\USCIS: E-Verify Connection for Employers & Workers

E-Verify Connection
A publication of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
September 2012 Issue X

Welcome to E-Verify Connection, an e-newsletter from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for U.S. employers and workers. Each issue will bring you updates about E-Verify’s advances and activities, as well as other useful information related to employment eligibility verification. A pdf version of E-Verify Connection is available online. 

What’s Hot in E-Verify?
Announcing the Employee Rights Tool Kit
Workers should understand their rights. The Employee Rights Tool Kit helps our stakeholders educate workers by compiling print and multi-media resources in one online toolkit. This creative new resource features videos, educational brochures, posters, fliers, and more. Topics include E-Verify, Self Check and Unauthorized Practice of Immigration Law. You can view the tool kit, in English and Spanish, in the For Employees section of the E-Verify website and on the Self Check site. Add the Employee Rights Tool Kit link to your website and order your FREE copy of the toolkit on DVD/CDs today.

Tips to Prevent a Mismatch
You now have an additional tool to help E-Verify promptly confirm employment eligibility. The Tips to Prevent a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) webpage gives valuable guidance to reduce the chance that E-Verify will return an avoidable mismatch. For example, remember to use your full legal name, including any hyphens and punctuation, when completing Form I-9, and keep your Social Security Administration (SSA) records up-to-date.

E-Verify Enhancements Make it Easier for You
Great news! U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just released several new E-Verify enhancements that save you time. You can now access E-Verify from three new web browsers and your mobile devices. And there is a new Quick Audit Report that employers can use to report their E-Verify activity. Learn more by clicking here.
Web-Based Tutorial for Corporate Administrators 
Instead of the limited availability of a live webinar, the new Web-based tutorial for E-Verify Corporate Administrators is available 24/7! Learn more here.

A Self Check Tip
When using Self Check, make sure you select your correct citizenship status and document types to avoid receiving a mismatch. For more Self Check tips, click here. 

Haitian TPS Extension
USCIS has announced that Temporary Protected Status for Haitians will be extended. More information is available here. 

Enrollment Checklist Now En EspaƱol
The E-Verify Enrollment Checklist helps employers prepare to enroll. This useful information is now available in Spanish too! See it here on

E-Verify MOUs
USCIS has posted six proposed E-Verify Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) in the Federal Register. Three are new, and three are revised versions of the current MOUs. The public comment period ends November 13th.

 Form I-9 Expiration 
Until further notice, employers should continue using the Form I-9 currently available on the Forms Section of Although this current version of the Form I-9 shows the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number expiration date of August 31, 2012, this Form I-9 continues to be effective. USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of the Form I-9 as it becomes available. Subscribe to I-9 Central to receive Form I-9 updates. See the blog for more information.

 I-9 Central Website in Spanish - Coming Soon
¡Buenas Noticias! In October, USCIS will launch a Spanish version of its award-winning I-9 Central website. I-9 Central Spanish will give employers and workers easy access to resources, tips, and guidance on how to properly complete Form I-9. Be sure to see the recently released Spanish language version of the Handbook for Employers (M-274).

E-Verify Outreach

Meet a DHS Expert at an Upcoming Event

11, Virginia Statewide Payroll Conference, Richmond, VA


8-9, Heartland Latino Expo & Conference, Omaha, NE
28, Human Capital Management Federal Training Event, Arlington, VA

Meet a DHS Expert Online in a FREE Webinar 
October, November and December webinar sessions are available on topics including
Form I-9, E-Verify Overview, E-Verify for Existing Users, E-Verify for Federal Contractors and Self Check. Webinars are a great way to learn from our subject matter experts from the comfort of your computer. For more information about how to participate, visit our website at and click on Take a Free Webinar.

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M-1011, E-Verify Connection

Health: Take that walk to fight to Diabetes

New on the MedlinePlus Diabetes 

09/24/2012 08:00 PM EDT

People living in communities that lend themselves to walking had a significantly lower risk of developing diabetes than those living in the least walkable neighborhoods in a large new study from Canada.

Source: Reuters Health

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