Are You Ready for an Audit

When we hear the word audit, we (or at least I) think of the IRS but businesses around the country, especially seasonal or that use a lot of migrant or immigrant labor have a lot more to worry about when it comes to Audits. ICE and Wage and Hour have both been stepping up their efforts to make sure employees are both legal and paid properly.

A recent article by attorneys in the restaurant space outlines how much more raid and audit activity ICE has been working on since the beginning of the year. ICE has more than tripled the audits and raids on employers compared to all of 2017 according to the authors. The article goes on to discuss what employers should do to prepare. More than 5200 employers received notices of intent to audit earlier this year. The advice given in the article is good for all Continue reading

How’s your I-9 Compliance?

One of the issues discussed at this year’s state unit meetings was that of the new I-9 Employment eligibility form. The I-9 form must be filled out by every new hire or rehire before going to work and they must present documents proving they are eligible to work by the 3rd day of work. This seems simple enough but the I-9 is one form that has employed countless attorneys and whole careers have been made defending employers and keeping employers in compliance with this deceptively simple form.

In addition to the new form coming out, another reason to pay attention to this form is concern among employment law attorneys that the Trump administration will pick up where the Bush administration left off with workplace raids and employer audits. We haven’t seen that much yet and no gins that I know of have been subject to USCIS audit but there has been a slight increase in the number of employer audits in a number of industries. They aren’t widespread but it is typical for Republican administrations to be a bit more tough on illegal immigration and with the rhetoric during the campaign, we should be on guard.

The USCIS has created some decent resources in its I-9 Central Page. This is a page that is dedicated to helping employers and employees complete the I-9 properly and helping to Continue reading

Overtime Rule Not Dead YET

In what seems like a never ending saga, the Government has asked for another extension in the appeals court trial over the overtime rules that came out under the old administration. You will recall that the Department of Labor had made a final rule that would raise the minimum salary to be considered eligible for overtime exemptions significantly. Just before the implementation date in the Fall, a court issued an injunction against enforcement. The Obama administration immediately appealed and attempted to get it on a fast track for the appeal. The date was set for after the inauguration and the Trump administration was issued a delay. That delay was set to require final briefs be made by May 1.

The new Secretary of Labor has not been confirmed yet. Therefore, they have asked for another 60 days to June 30 which would give the new Secretary to formulate a plan and get people in place. This still may not be enough time. The key here is that the issue isn’t dead yet. It is fully expected that the DoL will announce some type of repeal to the rule but we won’t know until after we have a new Secretary. Mr. Acosta is expected to be confirmed early next week along with several other appointments of lower level under secretaries and department heads as well as Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary.

DSF

USCIS is Updating the “Green Card”

See the following release from the USCIS regarding new Green Cards and Employment Authorization Documents. More information can be found at USCIS.gov or following the links in the press release.

 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1, 2017.

These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use.

The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud. They are also part of an ongoing effort between USCIS, U.S Continue reading

Article on ICE and I-9

I don’t link directly to a lot of articles on this blog but I think this one is worth while. Davis Bae of the Fisher Phillips Law firm wrote a very timely article entitled “How to Prepare for an ICE Raid on your Workplace“. While the title of the article is scary, the bulk of the article answers a lot of questions we get here at the Association. Information on I-9 self audits and possible ways to start helping those you suspect may be improperly documented.

Please take a few minutes to read this article. I think you’ll find it interesting.

DSF

New I-9 Now Available

USCIS LogoLast week, we reported that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCSIS) had announced it would release a new I-9 form by November 22. Well, they met and exceeded the goal by releasing the form on Monday of this week… more than a week early. The new form may be used immediately but will not be mandatory until January 22, 2017. You can continue to use the current form dated 2013 until then. The address to download the new form is the same. www.uscis.gov/i-9

The new form, which requires the use of Adobe Reader to open, can be printed blank or filled out in Adobe Reader. There is still a lot that is not known as there is a new set of instructions which is separate from the .pdf and there will be a new M-274 manual for the I-9 yet to be published.

So… here’s what we do know. The form can be used as a blank printed form or electric Continue reading