In the Know

Compliance News Flash - March 3, 2017
March 03, 2017
Alerts
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP

This week’s news flash – a quick overview of timely background screening and immigration-related news that is important to your organization.

  1. Old news is that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an updated M-274, Handbook for Employers. This helpful guide provides guidance to employers on completion of the Employment Eligibility Verification form, known as the Form I-9. But the M-274 is 65 pages long so how can you know what changed between the current and prior versions? The “new news” is that USCIS issued a Table of Changes for the Revised M-274. 
  2. Florida is the latest state pursuing Ban the Box legislation. The legislation is sponsored by Democratic State Representative Shervin Jones and the legislative session begins next week in Florida. 
  3. At the start of this year, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) changed its name to the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER). This office within the Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Meaning, employers cannot discriminate against an individual due to their citizenship/immigration status, national origin, through their documentary practices related to the Form I-9, or through retaliation if individuals assert their rights. Why should you care about the name change? Because you may need to update certain employee notices. If your company participates in E-Verify you must notify employees of this with the “Notice of Participation” and “Right to Work” posters in both English and Spanish. The posters have been updated to reflect the name change. Click here for updated posters in English and Spanish
  4. Restrictions on the use of credit history by employers when conducting background checks in Washington, D.C. is official. On February 15, 2017 Mayor Bowser signed the “Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016,” (D.C. Act A21-0673) which amends D.C.’s Human Rights Act of 1977. The law will become effective following a 30-day period of Congressional review. This means that the use of credit information for employment screening purposes may, in certain circumstances, constitute an unlawful discriminatory practice. The legislation prohibits an employer from requiring, requesting, suggesting, or causing any employee to submit credit information, or using, accepting, referring or inquiring into an employee’s credit information. There are certain exceptions to this general prohibition, such as for positions in law enforcement, with financial institutions, or when use of credit information is required by law. Violations can lead to civil penalties starting at $1,000. For more about the use of credit information for employment screening click here
  5. EU-U.S. Privacy Shield is the subject of ongoing handwringing among regulators, and in the process companies' cross-border transfers of personal data between the European Union (EU) and the United States hang in the balance. If your company transfers personal data from the EU to the United States, say as it relates to employees, read on. At the end of this month EU representatives will travel to the United States to meet with officials from the Trump administration on Privacy Shield. The lead EU privacy czar—Vera Jourova—stated that if the United States is not committed to the program she will suspend the program. That would be very, very bad for companies that transfer individual’s personal data from the EU to the United States because it means you would need to fall back on other acceptable onward transfer mechanisms which are not as user-friendly. If your company engages in cross-border transfers of employees' (or others) personal data from the EU to the United States and you aren’t Privacy Shield certified or have another onward transfer mechanism in place, call us at Arnall Golden Gregory for assistance.