FRIDAY FLURRY: UPDATES ON NEWS FROM THIS WEEK

Posted in: Employment Law by Dowling Aaron on

DHS Further Extends Flexibility of IRS Form I-9 Requirements 

 By: The Saqui Law Group and Christina Anton

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced it will further extend the flexibility related to in-person Form I-9 compliance for employers operating 100% remotely. Normally, employers are required to perform an in-person review of an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents.  However, employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 do not need to conduct an in-person review while remote operations remain in effect. Instead, such employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely using “video link, fax, email, etc.” and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2. Employers also should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field.  Once normal operations resume, all employees must report to their employer within three business days for an in-person verification.  Refer to the original policy here for more detailed information. Additionally, as a reminder, employers should be using the updated Form I-9.  The updated form is available here.

The in-person review exception was originally set to expire on May 19, 2020, but DHS has extended the date several times.  Due to ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, the policy is once again extended for an additional 30 days until July 19, 2020.  Furthermore, employers who were served notices of inspection (NOIs) by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) during the month of March 2020 and have not yet responded will be granted an additional 30-day extension to respond.  You can read the updated policy here.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:

If you have questions about how to navigate the IRS Form I-9 Requirements, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron Incorporated.

CA Issues Industry Guidance for Agricultural and Livestock Employers 

 By: The Saqui Law Group and Jorge Lopez Espindola

California’s Department of Public Health, Department of Food and Agriculture, and Cal/OSHA have issued a COVID-19 Industry Guidance document for Agriculture and Livestock. The Guidance is a 10-page document that provides guidelines to the industry to support a safe, clean environment for workers. The packet includes guidance on topics including the use of face coverings, establishing a workplace specific plan, individual measures for screening, physical distancing, and others. You can access the document here.

The Guidance also provides a checklist to help employers implement a worksite plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, available here.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:

If you have any questions about your company’s plan and protocols for responding to COVID-19, please contact the experts at the Saqui Law Group a division of Dowling Aaron Incorporated.

OSHA Releases 9 Steps to Reduce Worker Exposure to COVID-19 in Meat, Poultry and Pork Processing and Packing Facilities

 By: The Saqui Law, Jorge Lopez Espindola, and  Christina Anton

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently issued a poster for use in meat processing and packing facilities to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The poster is titled “9 Steps to Reducing Worker Exposure to COVID-19 in Meat, Poultry, and Pork Processing and Packaging Facilities” and is available in seventeen different languages for employers to post in common areas of their facilities. The poster is available in English here and in other available languages here.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:

If you have any questions regarding your facility’s COVID-19 response plan, contact the experts at the Saqui Law Group a division of Dowling Aaron Incorporated.

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