Quick Hits - July 14, 2021 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - July 14, 2021

Fighting unemployment claims when employee is ghosting:  In a recent ASE poll, 88.2% of respondents said they have been ghosted by an applicant within the last six months.  Now the employer can take repercussions. When an employer makes an offer of suitable work to an employee or makes an offer for an employee to return to their previous job, the employee can possibly lose unemployment benefits it he/she refuses. Wages, workplace safety, and other factors are considered in determining whether work is “suitable.”  Both employers and employees have an obligation to report offers and refusals of suitable work to the Agency. The employer should notify the UIA by submitting details of the refusal in MiWAM.  If a claimant fails to return to work or refuses an offer of work, this can be reported online through your MiWAM account (Under Online Services for Employers, Click on Report Refusal of Offer to Work, Complete all steps with information and then submit).  If a claimant fails to interview, you can submit the date, time, and employer name and address of where the interview was to take place, along with the claimant's name, address, and phone number so the UIA can research and investigate. This type of protest will need to be mailed to:  UIA, P.O. BOX 169, Grand Rapids, MI 49501-0169.  UIA 7/4/21

I-9 instructions when dealing with replacement of List A, B or C:  DHS has worked with its interagency partners ICE and DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) to provide employers with updated guidance on acceptable receipts. When employees present a receipt showing that they applied to replace a List A, B, or C document that was lost stolen or damaged, they should show their employer the replacement document for which the receipt was given. However, this is not always possible due to document delays, changes in status, or other factors.  If the employee does not present the original document for which the previously provided receipt was issued but presents, within the 90-day period, another acceptable document (or documents) to demonstrate his or her identity and/or employment authorization, employers may now accept such documentation.   In cases where an employee presents a document (or documents) other than the actual replacement document, the employer should complete a new Section 2 and attach it to the original Form I-9. In addition, the employer should provide a note of explanation either in the Additional Information box included on page 2 of the Form I-9 or as a separate attachment.  Source:  I-9 Central

Are men being treated differently than women who have child caring responsibilities?  A complaint by Atlanta-based TV sports host Casey Stern against Warner Media LLC and Turner Sports Inc. alleges that the broadcast employer discriminated against him as a man with childcare responsibilities and in need of COVID-19-related work and scheduling accommodations. The lawsuit alleged that Stern requested his employers permit him to continue working from home. He cited respiratory susceptibility to coronavirus and a desire to protect his children from potential exposure.  But a company backlash culminated in him being phased out of employment.  “The hosts were required to be physically in the studio and our client, who was asthmatic, was never offered the ability to work from home when people started being required to come back into the studio,” said Stern’s attorney, Michael J. Willemin, a partner at Wigdor in New York City. “So, he did come into the studio, for instance on August 5, and then the very next day, he learned that there were two individuals who were in the building that day who tested positive for COVID-19 . . . Had he been a woman, he wouldn’t have been treated in the same way. There would have been more sympathy towards the need to take care of his family.”  Source:  Law.com 6/28/21

How are your paid time off policies changing?  According to Mercer’s Survey on Absence and Disability Management 1 in 10 survey respondents now include Juneteenth as a paid company holiday; 61% of respondents offer paid parental leave for birth parents, up from 40% in 2018; and 60% offered paid leave to non-birth parents, up from 41% in 2018. 20% of respondents offer unlimited paid time off to at least some employees — mainly exempt workers — compared to 14% in 2018.  Respondents also reported that compliance with state and local leave requirements has gotten more challenging during the pandemic; 46% said they hired a third party to monitor and help comply with those rules and 23% established a leave policy expected to exceed state and local laws to reduce the administrative burden. More than half of respondents supported the concept of a voluntary federal minimum standard for paid leave.  Source:  HR Dive 6/23/21

Employee experience a priority in the post-pandemic workplace:  The Willis Towers Watson 2021 Employee Experience Survey found more than nine in 10 employers (94%) said enhancing the employee experience will be an important priority at their organization over the next three years compared with just 54% that indicated it was important to their organization prior to the pandemic. And with good reason. Most respondents believe a positive employee experience is a key driver of engagement (82%), employee wellbeing (79%), productivity (79%), and ability to attract and retain talent (80%). Many respondents believe it will take time to adapt fully to a post-pandemic world. Less than one in seven (13%) say the pandemic has receded enough to end temporary pandemic-related policies and programs. The rest indicate they will be ready to do so during the second half of this year (59%) or in 2022 or beyond (28%). Additionally, while employers expect the proportion of their employees working primarily remotely will drop from 5% now to 20% in three years, they expect one in four workers (25%) will have a hybrid work model in the next three years, triple the current number (8%).  Source:  CCH 6/29/21

Payroll may get more complicated, but better, for employees:  The Multi-State Worker Tax Fairness Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. Senate. The purpose of the act is to limit the extent to which states may apply their income tax to compensation earned by nonresident telecommuters and other multi-state workers.  The act provides that in applying state income tax laws to the compensation of a nonresident individual, a state can find a nonresident individual is present or working in the state for a time period only if the nonresident individual is physically present in the state and the state cannot impose nonresident income taxes on the individual’s compensation for any period of time when the nonresident individual is physically present in another state (S.B. 1887, as introduced in the U.S. Senate, May 27, 2021).  Two outcomes would immediately occur if this law were to pass: first, employees would be taxed in the jurisdiction they reside and second, employers may have more complex payroll issues to be aware of.  Further, with this development and the war for talent, employers will be pressed more to prove why work at office is necessary.  Source:  CCH 6/29/21

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