Ask Eva the Compliance Diva

Inquiry: I just heard that the I-9 Form Remote Option is going to be
terminated. Can you tell me when the termination is effective? Can you help me prepare a process that will meet DHS compliance?

– Horace

Eva’s Response: Hi Horace,
You are correct. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally terminated the I-9 Remote Option Flexibility process on May 4th, 2023. The expiration date of the “Flexibility” is July 31, 2023, as indicated by DHS. However, Employers must review all documents for employees where the Flexibility was used from March 20, 2020, until July 31, 2023, by August 30th, 2023.

Inquiry: I work as an HR Executive in the retail industry. We have employees in several states including remote employees. We are currently trying to prepare for the expected salary threshold increase by the Department of Labor. We still do not know what the salary increase is. Can you guide us on how to prepare for
this increase?

– Hawkins, HR Executive

Eva’s Response: Hi Hawkins,
Thanks for your inquiry. This proposed overtime rule could provide clarity for classifying exempt employees and increasing their salary levels under the FLSA.
Some experts believe the DOL could even create automatic annual or periodic increases to exempt employees’ salary levels by linking them to the consumer price index, allowing exempt employees’ salary thresholds to adjust without formal rule-making.

Inquiry: Hi Eva, Great to hear that you are back! My question is about employees who use the exemption for sincerely held religious beliefs to avoid getting vaccinated. Is there a way to get a handle on all theses requests? Is there a process to prove this type of exemption?

– Alyssa, HR Director trying to manage the vaccination Reasonable Accommodation, New York

Eva’s Response: Hi Alyssa, thanks for your kind words. Let’s talk about the Exemption Process. First, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) have indicated that Covid-19 has been identified as a pandemic. As a result, both regulatory agencies have focused their efforts to provide employers and professionals with guidance on how to proceed with workplace exemptions

Inquiry: Hi Eva, thanks for selecting my question. I am an HR Manager working in a multi-site location. We have over 350 employees. We are considering having a vaccine program, but we are not sure whether to have a mandated vaccine or a voluntary program. What do you recommend as best practice and what are the risks of either program?

– Whitney, HR Manager

Eva’s Response: Hi Whitney, thanks for taking the time to reach out to me with your inquiry. Vaccine programs are now more than ever changing regularly. It is not easy to navigate all the changes. The decision to have any type of vaccination program there are many issues to consider. First, you need to consider any industry standards and obligations, State requirements, and company considerations.