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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. USCIS Extends Response Deadlines for Certain Immigration-Related Processes
  2. IRS Permits Mid-Year Plan Elections Due to COVID-19
  3. Updated Disability Self-ID Form for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors
  4. California: Mandatory State Retirement Fund Registration Deadline Extended
  5. Los Angeles, CA: Emergency Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Large Employers
  6. New York: Wage Theft Prevention Act Amended, New Notice Requirements
  7. Suffolk County, NY: Ban the Box Restricts Pre-Hire Criminal History Inquiries


USCIS Extends Response Deadlines for Certain Immigration-Related Processes

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the USCIS has granted petitioners and applicants an additional 60 days to respond to certain immigration-related appeal or response deadlines.  Specifically, applicants will be granted the additional time to respond to a Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID), or to file a Notice of Appeal.  The additional timeline applies to any RFEs and NOIDs issued between March 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020, and to appeals for benefit applicants denied between the same timeline. Final decisions will not be rendered until after the additional time has expired.


IRS Permits Mid-Year Plan Elections Due to COVID-19

On May 12, 2020, the IRS recently announced that employees may make changes to cafeteria plan elections under certain circumstances, employers may extend expiring FSA grace periods through the end of 2020, and eligible individuals under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) may also receive coverage for telehealth and other remote care services outside the HDHP and still contribute to an HSA. Employers should review the changes with their benefits consultant to determine whether plan changes should be made.


Updated Disability Self-ID Form for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

The OFCCP recently updated its Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form.  This form is applicable to federal contractors and subcontractors covered by Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Such contractors and subcontractors are required to invite applicants, new hires, and incumbent employees to self-identify their disabled status.  This information is later used to support affirmative action programs and EEO data.  The new form must be implemented in covered contractors’ hiring process no later than August 4, 2020.


California: Mandatory State Retirement Fund Registration Deadline Extended

Originally enacted in 2016, CalSavers is a statewide retirement fund program for private-sector employees whose employers do not offer their own retirement program.  All employers of five or more employees are required to register with the program by pre-specified deadlines dependent on the employer’s size.  (Employers who maintain their own tax-qualified retirement plan are still required to register, but may request an exemption.) Due to COVID-19, the deadline for registration has been extended for employers of 100 or more employees.   The prior deadline of June 30, 2020 has now been extended to September 30, 2020.


Los Angeles, CA: Emergency Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for Large Employers

On April 28, 2020, the LA County Board of Supervisors enacted an interim urgency ordinance that requires large-scale employers of 500 or more employees to immediately provide supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL) to any individual working in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County. SPSL applies to employees who work at least 40 hours per week or are classified as full-time.  80 hours of SPSL must be provided retroactively from March 31, 2020, until December 31, 2020.  Employers who provided workers with additional paid leave for COVID-19-related reasons beyond the worker’s regular accrued leave balance may reduce their SPSL obligation by each hour provided on or after March 31, 2020.

Similar to the statewide Executive Order N-51-20, this ordinance does not apply to food sector workers, and employers may exclude provisions of SPSL for emergency responders and healthcare providers.


New York: Wage Theft Prevention Act Amended, New Notice Requirements

The Wage Theft Prevention Act (WTPA) requires employers to provide New York employees with notices and paystubs containing specified information in English and the employee’s primary language.  On April 3, 2020, the WTPA was amended with the following updated requirements:

  • Effective June 23, 2020, employers covered by the New York prevailing wage law must specify any certain information regarding prevailing wage supplements claimed by the employer on new hire notices and pay stubs.
  • Effective October 1, 2020, home healthcare employers must specify on a home care workers’ new hire notice and pay stubs what benefits the employee is receiving under New York’s Wage Parity Law. Records related to the benefit portion of the minimum rate of home care aide total compensation must be kept for six years.
  • Effective September 30, 2020, all employers must maintain records of the amount of paid sick leave provided to employees for at least six years.

Suffolk County, NY: Ban the Box Restricts Pre-Hire Criminal History Inquiries

Effective August 25, 2020, employers located in Suffolk County, NY with 15 or more employees will be prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s prior criminal conviction history.  Employers may not inquire into, require a person to disclose, or consider an applicant’s conviction history until after an employment application has been accepted and an initial interview has taken place.  Exceptions to these new regulations includes (1) instances authorized by applicable law, or (2) where certain convictions/violations bar employment in that position under state or federal law.  Employers who deny employment based on criminal conviction history must go through a specified adverse action procedure.


Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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