HR Alerts For October 2016
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Mandatory Updates To Federal Labor Law Posters Effective August 1
Mandatory updates to the Federal Labor Law Posters became effective on August 1. As a result, we recommend updating your posters as soon as possible.
Updates include the following:
- FLSA Section – Updates to the minimum wage regulations. Changes to the penalties section. New section about the rights of nursing mothers. Removed a section about child labor.
- EPPA Section – DOL removed the civil penalty amount. Changed to toll free number and added a TDD number.
At Integrity HR, we recommend using Govdocs.com for your Federal Labor Law Posters. We have found them to be affordable, easy to work with and good about not “over-selling” on the non-mandatory updates. Click here to go directly to their page with the federal poster options.
New Version of Form I-9 Coming Soon!
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The publication date of the new form is still unknown, but USCIS must publish it by Nov. 22, 2016.
Employers may continue using the current version of Form I-9 with a revision date of 03/08/2013 until January 21, 2017. After January 21, 2017, previous versions of the form may not be used for newly hired employees. The new Form I-9 will have an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2019.
To prepare for the changes to the form, we suggest that employers conduct an internal audit to determine if there are mistakes in form completion due to lack of training or misunderstanding of the basic procedures of completing the form. (Did you know that you can be fined $1000 per mistake on the Form I-9?) Employers should also train employees on the new Form I-9 once it is released.
Changes to the Form I-9
The proposed changes specifically aim to help employers reduce technical errors for which they may be fined, and include:
- Validations on certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly. The form will validate the correct number of digits for a Social Security number or an expiration date on an identity document, for example.
- Drop-down lists and calendars.
- Embedded instructions for completing each field.
- Buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over.
- Additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators. If the employee does not use a preparer or translator to assist in completing section 1, he or she must indicate so on a new check box labeled, “I did not use a preparer or translator.”
- The requirement that workers provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used. This is to avoid possible discrimination issues and to protect the privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names, Fay said.
- The removal of the requirement that immigrants authorized to work provide both their Form I-94 number and foreign passport information in Section 1.
- A new “Citizenship/Immigration Status” field at the top of section 2.
- A dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form, such as Temporary Protected Status and Optional Practical Training extensions.
- A quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, that generates once the form is printed that can be used to streamline enforcement audits.
- Separate instructions from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to the employee completing the form, however.
NFIB Filed Petition with DOL to Delay New Overtime Rule
As the Dec. 1 effective date for the new overtime salary threshold rapidly approaches, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) says millions of small businesses are unprepared.
Stating that small businesses need more time to implement the changes, the NFIB filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to delay the start date by six months, until June 1, 2017. The NFIB is a small business advocacy organization representing about 325,000 independent U.S. business owners.
In the meantime, however, employers should continue to work toward complying with the new requirements. Employers who fail to do so face the risk of being out of compliance, subject to fines and liable to employees in lawsuits, including class actions.
EEOC To Start Collecting Summary Pay Data in March 2018
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that starting March 2018, it will collect summary employee pay data from certain employers. The new data will improve investigations of possible pay discrimination, which remains a contributing factor to persistent wage gaps.
The summary pay data will be added to the annual Employer Information Report or EEO-1 report that is coordinated by the EEOC and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). OFCCP collects data from federal contractors and subcontractors.
EEOC is committed to providing support for employers as they transition to reporting summary pay data on the new EEO-1 report. In response to public comments, the first deadline for the new 2017 EEO-1 report will be March 31, 2018, which gives employers 18 months to prepare. This revision does not impact the 2016 EEO-1 report, which is due on September 30, 2016and is unchanged.
Private employers including federal contractors and subcontractors with 100 or more employees will report summary pay data. Under no circumstances should employers report individual pay or salaries or any personally identifiable information.
Federal contractors and subcontractors with 50–99 employees will not report summary pay data, but they will continue to report employees by job category as well as by sex, ethnicity, and race as they do now. Employers with 99 or fewer employees and Federal contractors and subcontractors with 49 or fewer employees will not be required to complete the EEO-1 report as is current practice.
The EEOC adopted this new EEO-1 after an extensive deliberative process that included publication of two versions of the proposed EEO-1 for public comment and a public hearing on March 16, 2016, at which stakeholders, researchers, and academics discussed the EEO-1 proposal and responded to questions from EEOC Commissioners. In total, the EEOC considered written comments from thousands of individuals, employers and their representatives, civil rights and women’s organizations, human resources and payroll associations, and Members of Congress.
The EEOC does not disclose EEO-1 data for a specific employer; it only publishes large-scale aggregated EEO-1 data in a way that fully protects employer confidentiality and employee privacy. OFCCP holds EEO-1 data for federal contractors and subcontractors confidential to the maximum extent possible under the Freedom of Information Act and the Trade Secrets Act.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Collectively, these laws prohibit pay discrimination based on sex, race, ethnicity, and other bases. More information about the revised EEO-1 report, including the new form, a Fact Sheet for Small Business, and a question and answer document are available on EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov. General information for Federal contractors and subcontractors is available at OFCCP’s website www.dol.gov/ofccp/