Regulatory Changes to Form I-9 and the FMLA

Form I-9

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 in 2017 containing an expiration date of 08/31/2019.

The new Form I-9 should be used for all new hires. The new form is two pages (with 7 pages of instructions) and may be obtained by going to the USCIS website or by contacting Elin Associates, Inc.

Employers need to remember a new hire must complete Section 1 of the form and provide acceptable documents on the first day of work for pay. The Employer must complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 no later than the 3rd business day the employee starts work for pay. The Form must be completed in its entirety in accordance with the instructions and maintained as directed.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Inspections are expected to increase significantly in 2018 and beyond. The Trump Administration’s concentration on illegal immigration and what to do with current illegal immigrants in the workforce will result in increased workplace inspections in the coming years. The acting ICE Director Tom Homan has been given instructions to increase the number of worksite inspections “four or five times what they are currently doing.”

During an inspection, the ICE Investigator will ask to see a company’s I-9 Forms. If they are not available or if they contain errors, fines can range to well over $2,000 per unavailable/incomplete form.

Might be a good time to complete a self-audit of your I-9 Forms. The internal audit should be done in a prescribed manner and corrections must be made in accordance with established procedures.

FMLA

The U.S. Department of Labor published final regulations clarifying several amendments to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), revised model FMLA forms, and a new notice poster. The new regulations expand the law’s military family leave provisions by creating a new category of “qualifying exigency leave.” Eligible employees are now entitled to “parental care leave” to care for a military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care when the care is necessitated by the member’s covered active duty. Also, eligible employees can now take up to 15 days leave to spend time with a military member on Rest and Recuperation. Further, the definition of “covered servicemember” was expanded to include veterans.

New model notices and forms are available on the DOL’s website or by contacting Elin Associates. The new notice must be posted on company bulletin boards even if you do not have the requisite number of employees at the work location.

The above information is provided for informational purposes and is not to be considered legal advice. Questions, call Larry Elinskas at 804-966-8100.