Important New Agency Documents for Employers
Federal agencies have released several documents of significant interest to employers: a revised mandatory I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form, a new version of the mandatory USERRA poster, an electronic OSHA form for the upcoming requirement to report electronically workplace injuries and illnesses, and a revised online OSHA whistleblower complaint form.
New Mandatory I-9 Form. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a new I-9 form, and all employers are required to begin using the new form for their new hires no later than September 18, 2017. Until September 18, employers may either use the new form or continue using the old form. Failure to comply with the requirement to use the new form after that date may result in significant fines.
New USERRA Poster. The Department of Labor has released a new version of the mandatory poster informing employees of their rights under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act. All employers are required to display, in the area where such notices are customarily displayed, the DOL’s USERRA poster. Notably, the DOL states that employers may continue to use the July 2008 and October 2008 versions.
New Electronic OSHA Form for December 1 Injury and Illness Reporting. On August 1, 2017, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will launch a web-based electronic form, to be used by employers to submit required injury and illness data from their 2016 Form 300A.
As we previously discussed in our May 2016 E-Update, OSHA issued a final rule requiring employers with 250 or more employees to submit electronically information from Forms 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses), 300A (Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report). In addition, employers with 20-249 employees in specifically-identified industries with historically high rates of workplace injuries and illnesses will be required to submit electronically information from Form 300A. This electronic reporting requirement was originally to begin in July 2017, but OSHA has now announced that the implementation date has been pushed to December 1, 2017.
Employers will be able to access the electronic form from a new webpage, which also contains information on reporting requirements, frequently asked questions, and a link for requesting assistance.
New Online OSHA Whistleblower Complaint Form. OSHA has also released a revised version of its online whistleblower complaint form, through which employees may report alleged violations of the 22 whistleblowing statutes administered by OSHA (including under the Dodd-Frank Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Affordable Care Act, or OSHA). Employees may use this form, or may file written complaints by fax, mail, or hand delivery, or telephonic complaints by contacting the agency or an OSHA regional or area office.
The revised form provides guidance through the complaint-filing process. Of particular note, the revised form now contains pop-up boxes that inform employees about other agencies that may be interested in the type of misconduct alleged by the employee, thereby potentially enabling other agencies to become involved.