It is hard to imagine that anyone in the United States, or perhaps even the world, has not heard about the many regulation changes ordered by the Trump administration, but the challenge for an employer is to make sense of it all. Regardless of which political position you take on the issues, as an employer it is vital that you understand how recent Executive Orders and nominations affect employment law and your business directly. Not understanding these changes in regulations could result in non-compliance and costly fines for your business.
Some recent developments:
1. Neil Gorsuch has been named as the Supreme Court nominee. Gorsuch is currently serving as a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and is often considered an ally of employers based on his past rulings. He may, however, face a confirmation battle with potential use of a filibuster by the Democrats and/or use of a majority vote by Republicans.
2. Andrew Puzder has been named as the Secretary of Labor nominee. This is relevant to employers because whoever is appointed will likely play a key role in determining the future of the FLSA overtime rule changes that are in limbo, as well as any potential movement of the federal minimum wage. Puzder, who has been viewed by some as a very controversial, has now had his conference hearing rescheduled four times, with the last delay indefinite as no new date was released. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, including the Hardee’s chain. Rumors swirling about him include reports that the required hearing paperwork has not been provided to Congress, allegations that his businesses violated the very laws he would be overseeing if confirmed to the role, and speculation that he has become disinterested in the appointment.
3. Perhaps the biggest development since President Trump took office is that of his efforts on behalf of Immigration Reform. Liabilities for employers in this area are very real and can be devastating if the regulations are not followed properly.
Operationally speaking, businesses need to understand if they have employees on temporary work permits, new hires that need visas, and employees who are or will be traveling abroad. Employers also need to know what steps can be taken to help ensure documents are in order and business objectives are not interrupted by detained or deported employees.
Further Reading: New I-9 Form Effective 1/22/17
One recent Executive Order authorized the hiring of ten thousand additional immigration enforcement and removal officers. Employers should expect that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will increase employer raids to search for undocumented immigrants and will penalize companies that are employing them. During a ramp-up of such employer investigations, it is likely that citations with penalties will be issued for even basic errors with regards to the completion of I-9 Forms and possibly extending to any new-hire or e-verify reporting requirements that may be non-compliant within company records.
For all employers, Propel HR strongly recommends a full internal I-9 Audit for compliance as soon as possible.
We recommend that all I-9 Forms, for active and terminated employees, should be examined for completeness and any errors made on the original forms must be corrected in compliance with the requirements for the form.
Further Reading: Assess the Health of Your HR
With Executive Orders and judicial challenges changing daily, it is vital that employers stay current with developments, understand the impact on their business and employees, and have a “plan B” where operational objectives may be subject to the back and forth wrangling of today’s political environment.
If you need assistance with an I-9 audit or help understanding e-verify requirements or any other employment matters, please contact us at 800-446-6567 or by clicking the link below.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates on the ever-changing landscape of employment regulations.
Propel HR is not a law firm. This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.