On March 20, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule which, among other things, updates their Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and replaces the 2018 version. The summary details the major rights guaranteed under the act. For instance, employers that use a credit report to deny employment must provide the applicant with the name, address, and phone number of the agency that provided the credit report information. The final rule also makes non-substantive changes to the act to include removing outdated business references.
The final rule is effective April 19, 2023, but the mandatory compliance date is March 20, 2024.
As we let you know last October, the end date for the COVID-related I-9 verification flexibility was (and still is) scheduled for July 31, 2023. Given the number of times this deadline had been extended, it seemed possible, though not probable, that it would be extended yet again. However, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now announced that the deadline is firm, and employers that were taking advantage of the COVID-19-related flexibility will have until August 30, 2023, to do in-person verifications of employment documents that were only inspected virtually. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided a very useful FAQ as well as instructions on how to notate the Form I-9 when inspected in-person after originally being inspected virtually.
If you haven’t kept a list of those employees whose documents were inspected virtually, pull that information together and determine who will serve as your authorized representative to inspect the documents in-person.
Once you know whose documents need to be inspected and their work location, you may be able to save both time and money on travel with a bit of strategy. You can have different authorized representatives for different regions. This job can be assigned to anyone you’d trust with a sensitive task. Given that employers are liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, you should choose someone who can pay attention to detail and train them on exactly how you want the verification done. You can also outsource the role of authorized representative to a law firm, notary, or someone else who can legally offer this service.
Finally, consider having someone from your HR team remotely oversee the in-person inspection (via phone call, video, or messaging app) to ensure a consistent process is followed as well as to be available to address any questions or concerns from the employee or person acting as the authorized representative.
To help employers prepare for changes under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) on its new protections for pregnant and nursing workers.
The PWFA, which goes into effect on June 27, 2023, amends the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require reasonable accommodations for a qualified individual’s limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
The EEOC’s FAQs, part of its “What You Should Know” series of guidance, include a general overview of the PWFA and notes that the EEOC will issue proposed regulations to implement the new requirements.
This Compliance Overview provides the EEOC’s FAQs.
The PWFA is a new law that requires covered employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to a worker’s known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions unless the accommodation will cause the employer an “undue hardship.”
The PWFA applies only to accommodations. Existing laws that the EEOC enforces make it illegal to fire or otherwise discriminate against workers on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.
The PWFA does not replace federal, state, or local laws that are more protective of workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions. More than 30 states and cities have laws that provide accommodations for pregnant workers.
The PWFA goes into effect on June 27, 2023. The EEOC is required to issue regulations to carry out the law. The EEOC will issue a proposed version of the PWFA regulations so the public can give their input and offer comments before the regulations become final.
The EEOC will start accepting charges under the PWFA on June 27, 2023. For the PWFA to apply, the situation complained about in the charge must have happened on June 27, 2023, or later. However, a pregnant worker who needs an accommodation before June 27 may have a right to receive an accommodation under another federal or state law.
In some situations, workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth or a related medical condition may be able to get an accommodation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) or the ADA. Therefore, until June 27, 2023, the EEOC will continue to accept and process Title VII or ADA charges involving a lack of accommodation regarding pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
After June 27, 2023, the EEOC will analyze charges regarding accommodations for workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions under the PWFA (if the violation occurred after June 27, 2023) and, where applicable, under the ADA or Title VII.
The PWFA protects employees and applicants who work for a covered employer and have known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
Covered employers include private and public sector employers with at least 15 employees. They also include Congress, federal agencies, employment agencies and labor organizations.
The House Committee on Education and Labor’s Report on the PWFA provides several examples of possible reasonable accommodations, including the ability to:
Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations unless they would cause an “undue hardship” on the employer’s operations. An undue hardship is a significant difficulty or expense for the employer.
Covered employers cannot:
Other laws that apply to workers affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions include:
On May 17, 2023, the U.S. Department of Labor released a field assistance bulletin (No. 2023- 02) to help with enforcement of the pump at work provisions of the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (the PUMP Act), which amended the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Under the PUMP Act, most nursing employees have the right to reasonable break time and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion to express breast milk while at work. This right is available for up to one year after the child’s birth.
This bulletin supplements previously issued materials, including:
Nothing so far…
06/01 – Prescription Drug Data Collection Reporting (group health plans and health insurers submit data regarding drug costs to the Department of Treasury, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services.
07/01 – 2022 EEO-1 Component 1 Data Collection Opening (all private sector employers with 100 or more employees, and federal contractors with 50 or more employees meeting certain criteria must submit)
07/31 – Form 5500 Filing Deadline (calendar year plans) 07/31 – Form 941 Filing Deadline (second quarter) 07/31 – PCORI Fee Deadline
08/01 – VETS-4212 Filing Open (federal contractors)
Lighthouse HR Support (LHRS) provides practical human resource information and guidance based upon our knowledge and experience in the industry and with our clients. LHRS services are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. LHRS services are designed to provide general information to human resources and/or business professionals regarding human resource concerns commonly encountered. Given the changing nature of federal, state and local legislation and the changing nature of court decisions, LHRS cannot and will not guarantee that the information is completely current or accurate. LHRS services do not include or constitute legal, business, international, regulatory, insurance, tax or financial advice. Use of our services, whether by phone, email or in person shall indicate your acceptance of this knowledge.