In connection with “National Day without Immigrants” held on Thursday, Feb. 16 and Friday, Feb. 17, immigrant employees as well as supporters and sympathizers may have requested time off or, in some instances, called in sick from work to attend protest-related events and activities. Supporters called on the public to refrain from working, opening businesses, and spending money in an effort to show the impact immigrants have on our country each day.

Although having employees absent from work may pose challenges for business operations, it is important to recognize that the decision to participate may be protected in some instances. Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) “to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses, and the U.S. economy.” More specifically, the NLRA provides that employees are protected under the “mutual aid or protection clause” of Section 7 when they seek to “improve their lot as employees through channels outside the immediate employee-employer relationship.”

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Photo of Ian Macdonald Ian Macdonald

Ian R. Macdonald Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. He focuses his practice on developing, assessing and managing global mobility programs for multinational companies on a range of challenges affecting the movement of people capital

Ian R. Macdonald Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. He focuses his practice on developing, assessing and managing global mobility programs for multinational companies on a range of challenges affecting the movement of people capital domestically and internationally, including secondment agreements, benefits transferability, local host country employment concerns and immigration.

Ian and his team work closely with companies to manage and modify, where needed, corporate immigration programs to maximize efficiency, service and regulatory compliance levels. He is experienced with the full range of business immigration sponsorship categories (visas and permanent residence), anti-discrimination rules to reduce or eliminate risk of employment litigation, employer sanction cases, and I-9 and E-Verify compliance. Ian assists clients with establishing risk-based performance standards (RBPS) and Department of Homeland Security protocol, providing risk assessment assistance to corporations subject to Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) and assisting clients with ITAR/Export Control compliance within the immigration context.

Ian has developed strategic relationships abroad that he utilizes when working with clients to ensure compliance with foreign registration requirements. He is experienced with analyzing complex global mobility opportunities on country-specific matters to facilitate the transfer of personnel. Ian is also experienced in counseling employers on immigration strategy as well as immigration consequences of mergers and acquisitions, reduction in workforces, and furloughs.

Prior to joining the firm, Ian worked for the United Nations, various non-governmental think tanks and corporate law firms in London, Washington, D.C., New York and Atlanta.

Photo of Courtney B. Noce Courtney B. Noce

Courtney B. Noce co-chairs the Immigration & Compliance Practice. She focuses her practice on U.S. business immigration, compliance and enforcement actions, as well as global immigration. She represents both large multinational companies and small start-ups on the full range of employment-based immigration, ranging

Courtney B. Noce co-chairs the Immigration & Compliance Practice. She focuses her practice on U.S. business immigration, compliance and enforcement actions, as well as global immigration. She represents both large multinational companies and small start-ups on the full range of employment-based immigration, ranging from permanent residence (PERM, National Interest Waivers, Extraordinary Ability/Outstanding Researcher, Multi-National Managers, among others) to nonimmigrant visa categories (H-1B, H-3, J-1, L-1A/B, O-1, TN). Courtney has a particular understanding of working with the retail industry and the ever-evolving challenges this industry faces.

Courtney works closely with companies on complex challenges associated with I-9 employment verification, enforcement actions, as well as H-1B and LCA compliance. She provides proactive strategies in the form of onsite training, internal audits and reviews, as well as deploying best practices to minimize exposure and liabilities in the event of government investigations.

Courtney also assists multinational clients in the area of global mobility and immigration. She has experience helping companies move key personnel into all parts of the world.

Prior to practicing law Courtney worked with the Georgia Department of Economic Development as a Business Development and Project Manager. In this role, she helped Life Sciences and Technology companies move to and expand in the State of Georgia. She worked frequently with international and domestic companies addressing global mobility needs, and is acutely aware of the important role immigration plays for global companies.

Courtney has studied, lived, and worked in Canada, France, and Italy. She is fluent in Italian, proficient in French and has basic Spanish skills.

Photo of Chuck Birenbaum Chuck Birenbaum

Charles S. Birenbaum serves as the firm’s Chair of Northern California and Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Labor-Management Relations group. Chuck is an experienced labor and employment attorney who focuses his practice on traditional labor and employment law matters, and

Charles S. Birenbaum serves as the firm’s Chair of Northern California and Co-Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s Labor-Management Relations group. Chuck is an experienced labor and employment attorney who focuses his practice on traditional labor and employment law matters, and has wide-ranging experience litigating in state and federal courts as well as various administrative agencies. He has testified on proposed legislation impacting entire industries before state legislative committees, and has interfaced and negotiated with labor organizations, politicians, regulators, and industry leaders to resolve complex issues for his clients in the health care, energy, construction and other industries.

Chuck is an experienced trial lawyer, having tried race harassment class actions, noncompetition trials, unfair labor practice hearings before the National Labor Relations Board, and multiple arbitrations. His appellate work includes decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit under the National Labor Relations Act, Labor Management Relations Act, and the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act.

In the area of traditional labor law, Chuck has a broad array of experience in collective bargaining, union organizing and trust fund litigation for employers in the construction, energy, health care, manufacturing, and service industries. He has first chaired collective bargaining for all bargaining units at a health care system; first chaired collective bargaining over a bargaining unit of registered nurses at a dialysis provider; first chaired collective bargaining for construction agreements covering billions of dollars of heavy infrastructure development; and first chaired collective bargaining for a steel manufacturer and fabricator.

Chuck has been honored by numerous organizations for his labor and employment practice. In 2013 alone, Chambers USA Guide listed him for his work in labor and employment law, Human Resources Executive® magazine named him one of the nation’s top 100 most powerful labor attorneys, and The Daily Journal singled him out as one of California’s top 75 labor attorneys.