New M-274 Handbook Available

Earlier this year the USCIS announced a new I-9 form. The I-9 is the document that employers must use every time they put a new employee on the payroll. We discussed this in an earlier blog post when the new form was announced in January. The M-274 is the manual that goes along with the I-9 and contains a lot of really good information that helps when understanding how the I-9 works.

Probably more importantly, the M-274 explains what to do and what not to do when filling one out or having a new employee fill one out.

Please find the new M-274 at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/handbook-employers-m-274

Remember the US Federal Government is the only place a 2 page form can have 10+ pages of instructions and a 80+ page manual.

Give us a call if you have questions.

DSF

New I-9 Published Today

On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Form I-9 Federal Register notice announcing a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that the Office of Management and Budget approved on Oct. 21, 2019. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.

The notice provides employers additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.

USCIS made the following changes to the form and its instructions:

Form:

Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per those countries’ recent name changes. (Note: This change is only visible when completing the fillable Form I-9 on a computer.)

Instructions:

  • Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
  • Updated USCIS website addresses
  • Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9
  • Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
  • Updated the DHS Privacy Notice

A revised Spanish version of Form I-9 with a version date of 10/21/2019 is available for use in Puerto Rico only.

For more information, visit I-9 Central or join a free Form I-9 webinar

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