Quick Hits - October 19, 2022 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - October 19, 2022

Continue using the current I-9 until further notice: Employers should continue using the Form I 9, Employment Eligibility Verification, after its expiration date of Oct. 31, 2022, until further notice. DHS will publish a Federal Register notice to announce the new version of the Form I 9 once it becomes available.  Source:  USCIS 10/12/22

Remote I-9 verification continues until 7/31/23: On October 11, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a nine-month extension until July 31, 2023, of the policy allowing remote, virtual verification of the documentation required for a Form I-9 when a workforce is working remotely. It is unknown if this extension will be the last one.  Source: Littler 10/12/22

Why managers want employees to return to the office:  The nationwide Return to Office survey, conducted by freelance marketplace Fiverr in partnership with Censuswide, surveyed over 1,000 managers and executives at medium and large businesses.  The findings highlight some of the motivations of employers looking to transition back to in-office work at a time when many workers are speaking out in favor of continued flexibility for remote work. Around 52% of survey respondents said they wanted employees to return to the office five days a week. A little over 12% of managers and executives said they are flexible with letting employees work remotely.  A majority of respondents, almost 42%, said they wanted employees to return to the office full-time because access and communication with company infrastructure is easier. Around 41% of respondents said working in the office full-time is better for development and career progression. A majority of the managers and executives surveyed who are flexible with remote work, around 48%, said they allow it so employees can spend more time with family. 45% of flexible managers and executives said remote work makes workers more productive.  Source: Business Insider 10/6/22

Office workers becoming reluctant to quit jobs:  American workers quit 4.2 million jobs in August, but one type of employee appears to be getting cold feet about switching employers or quitting to take a career timeout: office workers.  People with jobs classified as professional and business services, including those who work in occupations such as accounting, engineering, office administration, legal services, and consulting, quit in far fewer numbers in August than they had in previous months, according to the latest federal data. Worries about slowdowns, such as Amazon.com Inc.’s recently announced hiring freeze for retail corporate workers, may temper workers’ confidence about how quickly they could find a new role. The 12% drop to 682,000 resignations in the sector was the biggest single-month decline since April 2020, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show. In the finance-and-insurance category, workers handed in 100,000 resignations, a 7.3% decrease from 109,000 in July. At the same time, resignations soared among lower-wage workers: The 956,000 August resignations in leisure and hospitality are the most recorded in a single month, according to records that go back to 2000. Source:  The Wall Street Journal 10/6/22

OSHA reporting requirements to become more stringent: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a proposed rule to restore and expand Obama-era requirements for high-hazard employers with at least 100 employees to submit their injury and illness forms electronically to the agency.   In 2016, OSHA under the Obama Administration promulgated the Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rule to require construction firms and employers in other hazardous industries with at least 250 employees submit their OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA electronically. In 2018, the Trump Administration’s OSHA modified the Obama-era rule by limiting the original rule to require employers to electronically submit only summary data on OSHA Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses).  If finalized, the Biden OSHA rule would reinstate the requirement to provide the more detailed injury and illness data in OSHA Forms 300 and 301 and require it of employers of 100 or more. The reports will be required even when employers have complied with OSHA standards, and employers will have to identify themselves on reports by name.  Source:  Jackson Lewis 9/30/22

Federal contractor minimum wage rises to $12.15 per hour in 2023 under EO 13658 and $16.20 under EO 14026: The DOL Wage and Hour Division has announced the minimum wage rate for workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts covered by Executive Order 13658 will increase to $12.15 per hour as of 1/1/2023, while the required minimum cash wage that generally must be paid to tipped employees under covered contracts will increase to $8.50 per hour. Note that covered contracts that are entered into, renewed, or extended on or after January 30, 2022, are generally subject to a higher minimum wage rate established by Executive Order 14026 signed into law on April 27, 2021.  Those with federal contracts covered by Executive Order 14026 (EO will have a minimum wage of $16.20 per hour beginning on January 1, 2023. The required minimum cash wage that generally must be paid to tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts will increase to $13.75 per hour.

6 year old child the nexus for racial harassment claim:  Rejecting an employer’s assertion that the repeated use of the n-word by a supervisor’s six-year-old son toward an employee was not objectively severe, the Fourth Circuit observed that a reasonable person in her position could perceive a “tremendous difference between an insult from (say) a customer’s six-year-old child and the powerful statement from a supervisor’s son that ‘My daddy called you a lazy ass black ******, because you didn’t come to work.’” The son stated the inappropriate language to the employee on multiple other occasions, and the employer failed to stop it.  Vacating the grant of summary judgment against the assisted living facility employee’s Title VII and Section 1981 hostile work environment claims, the appeals court found evidence the employer had constructive or actual knowledge of the incidents and failed to sufficiently respond.  The duty of employer to keep a workplace harassment free also includes incidents that involve nonemployees.  Source:   Chapman v. Oakland Living Center, Inc., No. 20-2361 (4th Circuit Court of Appeals, August 30, 2022)


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