Introduction: How to Use This Tool
Whether it’s legal, moral or wise, one thing about the new US travel ban that can’t be denied is that it takes effect on March 16, 2017. Equally clear is that the travel ban will affect your company if you have employees or business associates who are citizens of the six Muslim states that the ban names as posing a national security risk to the US, including Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen who are stationed in or expected to travel to the US on business. The immediate danger for employers is that affected individuals currently located outside the US won’t be able to get into the country once the travel ban goes into effect on March 16. In addition, affected individuals who are in the US once the ban takes effect won’t be able to get back in if they choose to leave the country.
The first course of action is to consider recalling affected employees stationed in the US and refrain from scheduling or requiring them to travel to the US for the 90 days the ban is in effect. And while prohibiting such travel can raise nationality discrimination red flags, what you can and should do is ensure that affected employees are aware of the ban and that they won’t be expected to go to the US on business travel until it expires (on June 24, 2017).
Here’s a model based on the memo a leading financial institution sent to its own staff that you can adapt.
ABC COMPANY: NOTICE TO STAFF
To: Employees, staff and representatives of ABC Company
From: Senior Management of ABC Company
Re: The US travel ban
As you are no doubt aware, the new US President recently issued executive orders affecting US immigration policy that temporarily ban citizens of designated predominantly Muslim countries thought to pose a threat to national security from entering the US. Those restricted countries are Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The so called travel ban takes effect on March 16, 2017 and will remain in effect for 90 days.
Please recognize that you will be subject to the travel ban if you are a citizen of one of the restricted countries, unless you are a dual citizen of Canada or another non-restricted country. That means you will not be able to enter the US while the ban is in effect. It also means that if you are currently in the US and leave the country after it takes effect on March 16, you will not be able to get back in.
Accordingly, ABC Company wants to assure you that employees who are affected by the travel ban will not be required or expected to travel to or from the US for business purposes for as long as the ban remains in effect. Also be assured that you will suffer no adverse employment consequences for not traveling to or from the US while the ban is in effect.
If you have any questions or concerns about the travel ban and its impact, please contact the ABC Company HR department.
In closing, we want every one of you to know of our unwavering support for and commitment to all of the dedicated people working here at ABC Company. This includes a number of our outstanding employees who have come to us from other countries, including but not limited to the restricted countries listed in the US travel ban.
Senior Management of ABC Company