Don’t Forget the New I-9

Back in March, we posted the new highly anticipated I-9 Form. The new form was introduced on March 8 and had to be in use by May 8. Just to repeat ALL EM

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PLOYERS MUST USE THE NEW FORM STARTING MAY 8, 2013. So you will all need to have the new form on hand for any new hires.

There are some issues that you might want to get a refresher on so I would like to recommend a webinar by Tommy Eden from the Constangy, Brooks and Smith law firm. Tommy is in the Auburn, AL area and the recorded webinar is co-hosted by the Executive Continue reading

New I-9 Announced

The US Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced the release of a new for I-9 today. All employers in the US use this form to verify an employee’s identity and eligibility to work. A draft of the new form was released about a year ago and the USCIS received numerous comments on the form. It was thought that the release of the new form had been delayed not only due to the many comments but also to see if comprehensive immigration reform would move through Congress. While many discussions on a framework and goals have been floated, nothing concrete has been proposed and the USCIS released the new form this morning.

The new I-9 can be used immediately but older forms may be used until May 7, 2013. After May 7, you must us only the new I-9 for new hires. The old forms expired in 2012 and has a revision date of 8/7/09. The NEW I-9 has a revision date of (Rev. 03/08/13). More information on the new I-9 can be found at www.uscis.gov/I-9Central.

The website and form are NOT live at this point and I will update the blog and link as they are updated.

The new I-9 expands the form to 2 pages and includes a few additional fields such as an employee’s foreign passport information if applicable and email address. There are also revised instructions and revised document lists.

Again, you may use the old form only until May 7, then you must use the new I-9. We will update you as more details become available but as we discussed at the August Meetings, the new form would be coming and we’d let you know as soon as possible.

DSF

Dept. of Justice Settles I-9 Discrimination Suit – Jackson Lewis

The Jackson Lewis law firm recently reported that the Department of Justice has settled a case that emphasizes the need to review your I-9 process and employment practices in general. The case stemmed from a latino potential employee who applied for a job and was offered the work. During the I-9 process he was requested to provide a green card. The worker is a US citizen and as such, could not provide a green card. The offer for employment was subsequently withdrawn. The case was settled for $10,000 in back wages and fines.

The I-9 process has been a key to several discrimination cases over the past several years. Any industry that hires a large number of migrant workers, particularly a large number of Latino workers is susceptible to this type of discrimination. The I-9 form must be filled out for every new hire. It is very easy to ask for the same documents every time. It makes the process easier but it is not proper and, as evidenced above, can cost your company a bunch of money. The I-9 has three columns of documents and the employee has the right to provide any of the documents listed on the form as proof of identity and work eligibility. The list in column “A” provides both identity and work eligibility and the lists in “B” and “C” provide them separately.

Its important that you, from time to time, review your I-9 procedures and practices. The USCIS has good documentation on do’s and don’t’s as do many law firms that work in this area. If you have questions on your procedures, please give us a call and we can discuss them.

Dusty

OSHA Activity On the Rise

We have mentioned on this blog before that OSHA is getting more active and more activist when it comes to fines. The cotton industry has not been immune to these increased fines. Our sister organization, the Southern Cotton Ginners, has recently mentioned,in their newsletter, that two gins in the Mid-South have been fined at levels we are not used to seeing…even for OSHA.

In their article, they listed six citations at these two gins with proposed penalties. First, a knock-out grommet missing from an electrical box carried a Continue reading

Ala., Ga. farmers adjust planting after immigration crackdown – USATODAY.com

USATODAY posted an article recently outlining the issues agriculture could face in light of the immigration laws passed in Georgia and Alabama in 2011. This is article looks at the possibilities of farmers moving crops around in order to reduce the labor needs for the next year or two. Most still aren’t sure about how much of a shortage there may be in
coming months around planting and harvest but many aren’t willing to bet a lot on ample Continue reading

Wage and Hour Targeting Cotton Gins

In a disturbing press release earlier this week, the Gulf Coast office of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division announced a muli-year initiative to target agricultural employers in the region. Specifically the press release discussed the cotton ginning industry in Mississippi but given that ginning is conducted across the belt and that the Gulf Coast office is in Birmingham, we cannot assume that this initiative is going to be limited to Mississippi.

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