With nearly 200 pieces of new U.S. legislation introduced that are related to labor and employment so far in 2017, less than 5% of typically becomes law. Still, employers must stay informed of pending legislation that may affect their hiring, firing and employment of citizens or else face fines or punitive damages for noncompliance.
Here is the latest HR and Employment Legislation News this week.
Human Resources and Employment Law Updates
New EEO-1 Reporting Requirements Under Review
The EEO-1 form is a survey conducted by U.S. employers under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to obtain data about employees. Any U.S. or District of Columbia employer with 15 or more employees is required to keep records but only the following must annually file an EEO-1 form:
- Private employers with 100 or more employees, except for state and local governments, school systems and higher ed, Indian tribes, and tax-exempt clubs.
- Employers with fewer than 100 employees, if the company is owned by or affiliated with another company, and the total employees is 100 or more.
- Federal employers who have 50 or more employees and have contracts over $50,000.
The original form collected 128 data points but in 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) increased the number of data points to 3,360. The demographics gathered information such as gender, race and ethnicity, but the new form would also include wages and hours worked. The EEOC encouraged the use of the new data points to address discrimination in pay.
This information could generate false positives since the context of the employee's pay would not be gathered. Current HRIS systems were also not set up to gather the information required in the new survey. The September deadline for filing the report was moved to March, 2018 to facilitate the new data requirements.
Last week, the OMB under the Trump administration announced the suspension of the new data requirements until further review. Employers still have until March 31, 2018 to file the report.
Employers Must Use New I-9 Form Starting in September
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a revision to the employment eligibility verification form, Form I-9. Employers must implement this new form for new hires and reverifications by September 18, 2017. The changes include:
- A change to Section 1 that previously stated that the form must be completed, "no later than the end of the employee’s first day of employment." The new form now states it must be completed, "no later than the employee’s first day of employment."
- A change to the name of the Department of Justice’s "Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC)" to "Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IRE)".
- Changes to the I-9 List of acceptable documents to prove employment authorization including renumbering the list, the addition of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) to both the form and E-Verify.
- Changes to the Handbook for Employers (M-274) and instructions for employers.
Termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
Earlier this week, acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security announced the termination of DACA or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The program offers work authorization to adults, also known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States illegally as children. The work program defers deportation and requires that job seekers pass criminal and national security background checks. The program is scheduled to end on March 5, 2018.
Any employee who is currently using DACA benefits will be able to continue working until the EAD's (Employment Authorization Documents) expire. No new DACA applications will be accepted. Advanced Parole documents (for those "Dreamers" who travel) will be valid until they expire and other pending applications will be closed. Until October 5, those who hold DACA permits that expire any time between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 will be able to file extensions. When a Dreamer's work authorization expires, they are no longer protected from deportation.
The Trump administration is looking to Congress to provide a solution to the DACA program within the next six months. DHS has provided a list of frequently asked questions here.