- In big worksite enforcement news Homeland Security agents raided 7-Eleven stores nationwide regarding employees’ legal work authorization in the United States, centering around the employment eligibility verification form (aka “the Form I-9”). Read more in my Client Alert. Also, in case employers are keeping tabs this follows in the heels of another major worksite enforcement operation against Asplundh Tree Experts which resulted in a record breaking $95 million settlement with Homeland Security and the Department of Justice related to their hiring practices and unlawful employment of undocumented workers. Read more on that in my October 2017 Compliance News Flash. Now is a good time for employers to make sure their Form I-9 proverbial house is in order. Consider an internal audit of your Forms I-9 by outside counsel.
- California is on a roll with new employment-related laws effective January 1, 2018. The latest relates to salary history disclosures by job applicants. There is essentially a complete prohibition on an employer, either orally or in writing, personally or through an agent, seeking salary history information, including compensation and benefits, about an applicant for employment. This applies to all employers (private/public) and the only exception is publically available salary history information. Background screeners and employers take note and check out section 432.3 of California’s Labor Code.
- The Trump administration is ending the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Salvadorans, which has been in effect since 2001. So far the TPS designation has been terminated for nationals from Haiti, Nicaragua and now El Salvador. Salvadorans will have until September 9, 2019 to legalize their status or risk deportation. Why is this relevant to employers? Because of those three TPS designations the largest number are from El Salvador and many of these individuals are not only lawfully residing in the United States but also working with valid work authorization. That will end in 2019 and employers will feel the effect due to a potential loss of workforce. Currently, Salvadorans’ employment authorization documents have been auto-extended until September 5, 2018.
- The Trump administration released its Immigration Principles & Policies which, notably for employers, features an expansion of the electronic employment eligibility verification program—E-Verify. It’s not a news flash that mandatory use of E-Verify by all employers in the United States is a question of when, not if.
- And finally, yes, the federal government may shutdown as of midnight tonight. The threat of a government shutdown—last experienced in 2013—seems very real this time. Check out Politico and The Hill. One casualty of a government shutdown is that E-Verify will stop operating and employers will not be able to create cases during the pendency of the shutdown. If you are using an electronic I-9 provider, including for E-Verify purposes, they should be pushing down alerts about this possibility and what to expect.