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September Mid-Month 2021 Federal HR Updates

15 Sep

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Extension to I-9 Compliance Flexibility Given by ICE

Update Applicable to:

All employers.

What happened?

On August 31, 2021, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension to the flexibility rules to I-9 forms.

What are the details?

ICE has announced that the flexibility rules for Form I-9 compliance have been extended until December 31, 2021.

The extension will continue to apply to the previous guidance that was issued for employees hired on or after April 1, 2021 in remote settings due to COVID-19-related precautions. Those employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) until they undertake non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier.

The article on the extension on the ICE site can be read here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should be aware of the extension to the I-9 flexibility rules to continue to process their I-9s with the guidance provided by ICE.

IRS Releases Guidance on Reporting Distributed Sick Leave Wages for 2021

Update Applicable to:

All employers.

What happened?

On September 7, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2021-53, which provides guidance to report paid leave wages on employees’ W-2s.

What are the details?

The guidance provides information to employers about reporting on Form W-2 the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees for leave taken in 2021. The notice provides guidance under recent legislation, including: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), as amended by the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

The guidance provides employers with model language to use as part of the Instructions for Employee for the Form W-2 or on the separate statement provided with the Form W-2. The wage amount that the notice requires employers to report on Form W-2 will provide employees who are also self-employed with the information necessary to determine the amount of any sick and family leave equivalent credits they may claim in their self-employed capacities.

The guidance can be read here.

The announcement from the IRS can be read here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the guidance provided by the IRS to report the sick and family leaves as detailed by the IRS for their employees. 

USCIS Extends Conditional Permanent Residence’s Receipt Notice Validity to 24 Months

Update Applicable to:

All employers.

What happened?

On September 3, 2021, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a notice regarding receipt notice validity to employees who are conditional permanent residents filing to remove conditions.

What are the details?

The notice states that due to current processing times that have increased over the past year, the receipt notice used to show evidence of status from employees who properly file Form I-751 or Form I-829 is being extended from 18 months to 24 months.

Those eligible and who have filed before September 4, 2021, will be issued a new receipt notice to reflect the new extended validity window.

The USCIS notice can be read here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the notice and update any applicable policies regarding conditional permanent resident employees to stay in compliance with the updated validity timeframe.

DOL Publishes Rule on OSH Act

Update Applicable to:

All employers.

What happened?

On September 3, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final interpretive rule on the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970.

What are the details?

The rule, effective immediately, changes a previous rule interpreting the anti-retaliation provision of the OSH Act of 1970. The revised final interpretive rule clarifies the causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action.

The rule can be read here.

An article notice of the rule can be read here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the final interpretive rule here and any applicable policies they have to make required changes to stay in compliance with the new rule change for anti-retaliation.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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