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Archive for January, 2016

Labor Department Issues WIOA Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Proposed Rule: Deadline for Comments is Mar. 28, 2016

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) has announced publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the federal regulations for Section 188 WIOA Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Regulations (29 CFR Part 38). Section 188 of WIOA prohibits the exclusion of an individual from participation in, denial of the benefits of, discrimination in, or denial of employment in the administration of or in connection with, any programs and activities funded or otherwise financially assisted in whole or in part under Title I of WIOA because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship status, or participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under Title I of WIOA. These proposed regulations would update the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations consistent with current law and address its application to current workforce development and workplace practices and issues. Public comments on the proposed regulations must be received on or before March 28, 2016. Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the NPRM in the Federal Register.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Jan. 29, 2016)

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

Enroll for Health Care Coverage Now – Deadline January 31

Only a few days remain before the January 31 deadline to enroll in health care coverage for 2016 through HealthCare.gov. Remember that insurers cannot refuse to sell you a plan or charge you more just because you have a preexisting condition such as HIV, cancer, or any other disability. If you have questions about signing up or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, free help is just a call or click away. Representatives at the Call Center are available 24 hours a day, every day at 1–800–318–2596. Call Center representatives can answer questions and help you enroll in coverage over the phone. Free, confidential, in-person help is also available at enrollment sites and events in communities across the nation. Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to search for local help in your neighborhood. Follow @HealthCareGov and @HHSgov on Twitter, and HealthCare.gov and HHS on Facebook.

Job Seekers and Employees with Disabilities Need Better Accessible Transportation Technology

In a January 28 U.S. Department of Labor blog post, Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, reflected on the importance of accessible transportation to the employment of people with disabilities. She discussed the Department of Transportation’s new Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI), which focuses on research to improve the mobility of people with disabilities through the use of intelligent transportation. “The recent innovation in wayfinding and other technologies has greatly enhanced the ability of millions of Americans with mobility challenges to get to and from their jobs – but we aren’t done yet,” said Sheehy.

DOL Issues WIOA Nondiscrimination and Equal Opportunity Proposed Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center (CRC) has announced publication of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the federal regulations for Section 188 WIOA Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination Regulations (29 CFR Part 38). Section 188 of WIOA prohibits the exclusion of an individual from participation in, denial of the benefits of, discrimination in, or denial of employment in the administration of or in connection with, any programs and activities funded or otherwise financially assisted in whole or in part under Title I of WIOA because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief, and for beneficiaries only, citizenship status, or participation in a program or activity that receives financial assistance under Title I of WIOA. These proposed regulations would update the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations consistent with current law and address its application to current workforce development and workplace practices and issues. Public comments on the proposed regulations must be received on or before March 28, 2016. Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the NPRM in the Federal Register.

ePolicyWorks Accessible Transportation Twitter Chat Rescheduled for Monday, February 1, 2:00–3:00 PM ET

The ePolicyWorks inaugural Twitter chat is rescheduled for Monday, February 1, 2:00–3:00 PM ET. Join this real-time Twitter chat on the current state of accessible transportation by following and tagging your posts with the hashtag #ePWchat. Participants are encouraged to share their accessible transportation experiences and provide insights on what improvements must be made. After the event, we invite you to continue the conversation by returning to the “Breaking Down Employment Barriers with Accessible Transportation Innovation” Online Dialogue, hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI), which will run through February 12. The results of this crowdsourcing event will be used to help federal policymakers transform the future of transportation, whether it involves connected and automated vehicles, on-demand operations, virtual concierge travel assistance through mobile devices, assistive robots, or other innovations.

JAN Archives Best Practices Webcast on Addressing Workplace Harassment – Employer’s Responsibilities

Harassment is a form of discrimination that violates the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and other laws. There is some evidence that people with disabilities may be at increased risk of workplace harassment. This January 12 webcast from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provided information to help employers and others recognize the various types of workplace harassment and what steps to take to prevent and correct this unlawful harassment. Speakers included Jeffrey Daniels, PhD., West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services, Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling, and Counseling Psychology, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology; and Dexter R. Brooks, Associate Director of Office of Federal Operations, Federal Sector Programs, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) State of the Practice, Innovation, and Assessment of Research Webinar — February 2, 1:00–2:30 PM ET

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will host a free public webinar on February 2, 1:00–2:30 PM ET, to review the recently completed State of the Practice and Innovation scan reports as well as the Assessment of Relevant Research document for the USDOT’s Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI). The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Accessible Public Transportation (RERC–APT), funded by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), will share the results of the State of Practice Scan, Innovation Scan, and Assessment of Relevant Research documents, using specific examples from accessible transportation or related fields of how the relevant methods, practices, and technologies can meet the needs of transportation users of all abilities. The Assessment of Relevant Research includes recommendations regarding key opportunities on emerging technologies relative to accessible transportation. The USDOT will also provide a brief update on the status of the overall ATTRI program and next steps.

DOL Office of Apprenticeship Seeks Nominees for Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship

The Office of Apprenticeship in the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration is accepting nominations for new members of the Secretary of Labor’s Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship (ACA). The ACA’s mission is to provide advice and recommendations on the development and implementation of policies, legislation, and regulations affecting Registered Apprenticeship. The organization also provides a diversity of perspectives with members representing employer, labor, and public sectors. Interested parties may submit nominations no later than February 17 to oa.administrator@dol.gov with the subject line “ACA nomination.” All submissions must include a letter of support and the individual’s bio and resume.

Audio Stream OFCCP’s Pay Transparency Webinar (Jan. 2016)

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Due to high demand, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is hosting a second public webinar on January 28, 2016, at 2 p.m. EST to discuss its final rule promoting pay transparency. This webinar is now full and registration is closed. However, to accommodate those unable to register, OFCCP will live stream the audio portion of the webinar. A recorded, audiovisual version of the webinar will also be posted to OFCCP’s website soon.

Stream the webinar by clicking this link 10 minutes before it begins: http://event.on24.com/r.htm?e=1117642&s=1&k=94CF71D01B12CA1727E879A118230FB8.

The pay transparency final rule became effective January 11, 2016. It amends the existing regulations that implement Executive Order 11246, and helps renew the promise of equal pay for equal work for millions of applicants and employees of covered federal contractors and subcontractors. The final rule will provide these workers with a way to safely discuss their pay, identify potential pay disparities, and seek timely remedies for unwarranted disparities in pay.

During the webinar, presenters from OFCCP’s Division of Policy and Program Development and the Department’s Office of the Solicitor will provide an overview of the final rule, address questions received by the agency since the rule’s September publication, and illustrate the practical application of defenses provided in the rule through several hypothetical scenarios.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.

FTA Continues ADA Circular Training: ADA & Paratransit (Jan. 2016)

Monday, January 25th, 2016

In October 2015, FTA issued its ADA Circular. To help transit agencies and riders get the most out of the Circular, FTA’s Office of Civil Rights is hosting a series of webinars that provide an in-depth look at ADA requirements and how the Circular addresses them. Each hour-long webinar will provide useful information on ADA topics as well as tips and suggestions for providing accessible service. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Join us for Webinar 2 – The ADA and Paratransit – 2-3 p.m. EST Wednesday, February 3. We will address service requirements related to paratransit service criteria, capacity constraints, and trip reservations. For eligibility, we will look at types of eligibility, the eligibility process, and no-show policies. This webinar covers material from Chapters 8 and 9 of the FTA ADA Circular.

The ADA webinar series is designed for FTA grantees. Because attendance space is limited, we request that each agency register for a single spot. Note: this registration link is only for Webinar 2. Registration links for future webinars will be sent out separately.

FTA is committed to providing equal access to this session for all participants. If you need alternative formats, options, or services, please contact FTAcivilrightstrain@dot.gov.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Business Sense: Supporting Employees Who Experience Unexpected Illness or Disability (Jan. 20, 2016)

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

On the surface, small business ownership and the popular television drama Downton Abbey may not seem to have a lot in common. But, on a deeper level, they do — because the early 20th century English country estate around which the show revolves is a significant contributor to its local economy, through both commerce and employment.

In fact, as described in a recent DOL blog post, when it comes to supporting employees with acquired disabilities, the estate has encountered several scenarios to which today’s employers may relate. That’s because when an unexpected injury or illness prevents an experienced, valued employee from working temporarily, small businesses can face difficult choices. Most want to do their best to support their employees, and the reality is that training new workers costs in terms of both time and money. At the same time, the work must go on.

Fortunately, employers — whether fictitious or real — can use a number of strategies to help employees remain on the job or get back to work following the onset of disability. Often, just a few simple modifications to an employee’s work environment, duties or schedule are all that is needed to retain a valuable member of the team, often with the added benefit of decreasing workers’ compensation costs and health-related absences.

To assist employers in understanding their options when it comes to such “stay at work” and “return to work” strategies, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy offers a range of resources, including fact sheets, research reports and issue briefs, as well as an online toolkit for employees and employers. Further information on structured return-to-work programs, including research validating their benefits and steps to implementing them, is available from ODEP’s Job Accommodation Network and Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion.

Regardless of whether there is a structured program in place, the key to returning employees with disabilities to work as soon as possible often involves employers and employees remaining positive and keeping an open mind about available options. Effective communication is paramount. What’s more, in many instances, work itself can play an important role in the recovery process — benefiting employee and employer alike for years to come.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

Removing Language Barriers for Working Americans (Naomi Berry-Perez, Director, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor)(Jan. 19, 2016)

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

Let’s face it − navigating government services and benefits can be tough. And for those individuals whose primary language isn’t English, the process can be even more daunting. At the Department of Labor, one of our responsibilities is to ensure that the rights of all workers are protected, including those considered limited English proficient (known as LEP).

In 2000, a presidential executive order required federal agencies to examine any services they provide or support, identify any need for services to those with limited English proficiency, and create a system to provide those services so LEP persons can gain adequate access to them. Since then, federal and state government and other entities have worked together to ensure that LEP communities receive meaningful access to the services and information for which they may be eligible. These efforts are also consistent with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Labor Department’s nondiscrimination and equal opportunity regulations found in Section 188 of both the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014.

A recent case underscores how important federal-state cooperation is when it comes to ensuring workers have equal access to government services. After a joint investigation, the Labor Department’s Civil Rights Center worked with the Department of Justice to reach an agreement with the state of Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries to resolve civil rights complaints filed on behalf of LEP workers who speak Bosnian, Cambodian (Khmer) and Spanish. The workers alleged that they were prevented from gaining meaningful access to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries’ workers’ compensation program because that agency did not provide adequate language assistance services. The Northwest Justice Project brought forward the national origin discrimination complaints, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington assisted in the investigation and resolution.

Workers’ compensation benefits are vital to injured workers. They cover medical expenses and paying wage replacement benefits while a worker recovers from a workplace injury. So meaningful access to benefits and understanding of a workers’ compensation program may be challenging when a worker speaks a language other than English and the program does not take reasonable steps to provide meaningful information in other appropriate languages.

To successfully deliver these kinds of services to those with limited English proficiency, a state or other entity must be committed to removing language barriers. Often, this means being aware of the need to coordinate language services across programs and offices. In this particular case, the Washington state agency − working with our Civil Rights Center and the Justice Department − committed to making significant improvements in language assistance services for LEP workers, agreeing to a solution that embodies the spirit of the 2000 executive order. A memorandum of agreement outlines the agency’s dedication to implementing a new language access program, ensuring LEP individuals have full access to its programs, activities and information.

“One of our agency goals is to make it easy to do business with us,” said Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Director Joel Sacks. “This agreement is a reflection of our values and it’s the right thing to do. We want all people living and working in Washington to be able to communicate with us, understand the information we provide and have access to Labor & Industries services.”

Editor’s note: For more information about efforts to ensure LEP individuals can access government services, or to file a complaint, visit LEP.gov.

Naomi Barry-Perez is the director of Labor Department’s Civil Rights Center.

Office of Disability Employment Policy Newsletter (Jan. 15, 2016)

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/odep.

Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet by Webinar January 27-28, 2016

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold its seventh meeting on January 27-28, 2016 via webinar. The meeting will be open to the public and will take place each day from 1:00-5:00 PM ET. During the meeting, the Committee’s four subcommittees will report to the whole Committee on their work since the submission of the Interim Report and their areas of focus for the Final Report. There will be a public comment period on January 27, 3:30-4:30 PM ET. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice. Members of the public wishing to participate in the webinar must register by January 15, 2016.

ODEP Deputy Assistant Secretary Addresses Association of American Law Schools

On January 8, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy traveled to New York City where she presented as part of a panel at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting. The panel explored the impact of disabled veterans on disability, health, and other law and policy areas, and her remarks focused on related Labor Department policy initiatives, including the 2014 updates to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act.

Downton Abbey: A Disability-Inclusive Workplace?

Downton Abbey, the popular PBS television show, is the subject of a January 14 post on the Department of Labor blog by Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. Sheehy observes that several storylines in the ongoing drama illustrate positive practices in the employment of people with disabilities. “Sadly, Downton Abbey is closing its doors at the end of the current season,” notes Sheehy. “But it’s my hope that its portrayal of flexible employment practices will help reinforce to 21st-century employers the importance of ensuring their doors remain open to all qualified workers, including those of us with disabilities.”

We ALL Need Mentors!

January is National Mentoring Month, and in a post on Disability.Blog, co-authors Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, and David Shapiro, President and CEO, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, reflect on the vital role that mentors play in the lives of youth, including youth with disabilities. Sheehy discusses the National Disability Mentoring Coalition, a group of organizations working to strengthen mentoring for people with disabilities. “I applaud this collaboration and encourage the development of new strategies to ensure more individuals with disabilities are included in mentoring programs – as both mentors and mentees,” says Sheehy.

LEAD Center Webinar – Creating an Inclusive Workforce System: Implementing WIOA Section 188’s Equal Opportunity Provisions – January 20, 3:00-4:30 PM ET

Section 188 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) prohibits discrimination against people who apply to, participate in, work for, or come into contact with programs and activities of the workforce development system. WIOA also requires that American Job Centers be fully accessible physically and programmatically, offering accommodations as needed and incorporating Universal Design wherever possible. On January 20, 3:00-4:30 PM ET, the LEAD Center will present a webinar on the topic of Section 188, focusing on its work with the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, who have committed to improving access to their services statewide.

ODEP Launches Stay at Work/Return to Work Web Page

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has launched a new web page on Stay at Work/Return to Work (SAW/RTW). The page features information on ODEP’s SAW/RTW Community of Practice, as well as links to resources including reports, policy briefs, and a profile on “Best Practices in Employee Retention & RTW – An In-Depth Look Inside an Exemplary American Corporation.”

Schedule A At a Glance

As part of its ongoing efforts to assist federal agencies in meeting their disability inclusion goals, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has published a new rack card on Schedule A. Schedule A is an excepted service hiring authority available to federal agencies to hire and/or to promote individuals with disabilities without competing the job, thus bypassing the traditional, and sometimes prolonged, competitive hiring process. The rack card was published by ODEP in cooperation with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Latest EARN Newsletter Now Available

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) has issued its January 11 newsletter, featuring information on new research from the UK on the benefits of accommodations and inclusive culture, the upcoming meeting of the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, two recent blog posts, and more.

Join ePolicyWorks Twitter Chat on Breaking Down Employment Barriers with Accessible Transportation Innovation – January 26, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Transport yourself to the future by participating in ePolicyWorks’ inaugural Twitter chat on accessible transportation. Join an interactive conversation on Tuesday, January 26, 2:00-3:00 PM ET to discuss the current state of accessible transportation, share your accessible transportation experiences, and provide insights on what improvements must be made. Participants can join this real-time Twitter conversation by following and tagging their posts with the hashtag #ePWchat. Following the chat, participants are encouraged to continue the conversation by registering for the online dialogue on Breaking Down Employment Barriers with Accessible Transportation Innovation, open until February 12.

FCC Chairman’s Awards for Advancements in Accessibility Now Accepting Nominations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman’s Awards for Advancements in Accessibility (Chairman’s AAA) is a program recognizing products, services, standards and other innovative developments that improve the experience of people with disabilities in telecommunications and technology. Nominations will be accepted for the Chairman’s AAA beginning January 11, 2016 through March 31, 2016. To make a nomination, send an email to ChairmansAAA@fcc.gov with the following information about a product, service, standard or other innovation developed or introduced to the public between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015: a description of the program/challenge that is addressed by the innovation; a description of the innovation, with attachments or links to more detailed information if available; a description of how the Chairman’s Award would impact continued development in this area, or improvement in the solution; and a description of why this particular innovation qualifies for the Chairman’s Award.

FTA Offers ADA Circular Training in Webinar Series (Jan. 2016)

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

In October 2015, FTA issued its ADA Circular. To help transit agencies and riders get the most out of the Circular, FTA’s Office of Civil Rights will host a series of webinars that provide an in-depth look at ADA requirements and how the Circular addresses them. Each hour-long webinar will provide in-depth information on ADA topics as well as tips and suggestions for providing accessible service. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions.

Join us for Webinar 1 — ADA General Requirements, Oversight, and Monitoring –2-3 p.m. Wednesday, January 20. We will discuss crosscutting nondiscrimination requirements that apply to various service types. We will also address oversight, complaints, and monitoring. This webinar covers material from chapters 1, 2, and 12 of the FTA ADA Circular.

The ADA webinar series is designed for FTA grantees. Because attendance space is very limited, we request that each agency register for a single spot. Note: this registration link is only for Webinar 1. Registration links for future webinars will be sent out separately.

For more information, go to http://www.fta.dot.gov/civilrights/12885.html.

Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel Issues Technical Assistance Letter: Non-Discriminatory Practices During the Form I-9 Verification and Re-Verification Process (Jan. 2016)

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

For the complete letter, go to http://www.justice.gov/crt/file/812686/download.

An excerpt of the letter is as follows:

This is in response to your email dated July 27, 2015, to the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (“OSC” or “Office”). In light ofrecently issued guidance, this letter supersedes the technical assistance letter that OSC issued on October 23, 2015.

You request guidance on how to advise a client following an internal audit of the client’s Forms I-9. First, you seek guidance on what steps your client should take with respect to Permanent Resident Cards (Forn1s I-551) that you doubt the veracity of. You state that your firm’s inclination is to advise the client to meet with the employees whose documentation you believe is doubtful and request that the employee present different documentation. You are concerned, however, that this post-employment request for different documentation could result in possible discrimination complaints because the affected employees share the same national origin. Second, you ask whether your firm has an “obligation to train” this client in “what to look for in a valid green card” or whether that training is “outside the scope of what their HR should be trained to do since that would take them beyond the ‘reasonable person’ standard?”

OSC cannot provide an advisory opinion on any set of facts involving a particular individual or entity. However, we can provide some general guidelines regarding employer compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). The anti-discrimination provision prohibits four types of employment-related conduct: (1) citizenship or immigration status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruiting for a fee; (2) national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruiting for a fee; (3) unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9 and E-Verify) process (“document abuse”); and (4) retaliation for filing a charge, assisting in an investigation, or asserting rights under the anti-discrimination provision. 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.

For more information about OSC, please visit our website at: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.

The issues raised in your email implicate both an employer’s obligations to avoid discrimination in violation of the anti-discrimination provision and an employer’s obligations to comply with the employer sanctions provisions at 8 U.S.C. § l 324a. For guidance about 8 U.S.C. § 1324a’s prohibition against knowingly employing an individual who is not authorized to work in the United States, we direct you to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) within the Depmiment of Homeland Security. Information about ICE’s worksite enforcement activities can be found at www.ice.gov/worksite, and contact information for Special Agent in Charge field offices can be found at www.ice.gov/contact.

To prevent discrimination in violation of the anti-discrimination provision, an employer (or its representative) conducting an internal Form I-9 audit should conduct the audit in a consistent manner – treating similarly-situated employees in a similar manner – and should not treat employees differently based on citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. For example, m1 employer should not base its selection of which Forms I-9 to review on employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. In addition, employers should apply the same level of scrutiny to Form I-9 documentation and not apply different levels of scrutiny based on citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.

In answer to your specific question regarding Permanent Resident Cards that you doubt the veracity of, we refer you to joint guidance that OSC and ICE recently issued. The guidance reminds employers that they “are required to accept original Form I-9 documentation that reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the individual presenting the documentation.” Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practice, at 3 (2015), available at http://www.justice.gov/crt/file/798276/download. However, in the context of an internal audit, an employer “should recognize that it may not be able to definitely determine the genuineness of Form I-9 documentation based on photocopies of the documentation” and “[a]n employer may not conclude, without foundation, that a photocopy of an employee’s Form I-9 documentation is not genuine or does not relate to the individual.” Id. The guidance also advises that “[a]n employer should not request documentation from m1 employee solely because photocopies of the
documents are unclear.”

If an employer conducting an internal Form I-9 audit concludes, based on a photocopy, that a document does not appear genuine or to reasonably relate to an individual, the employer “should address its concern with the employee and provide the employee with the opportunity to choose a different document to present from the Lists of Acceptable Documents.” Id. However, the employee also has the option to give the employer the originally presented document to resolve the employer’s concerns, and the employer is not prohibited from reviewing the original document and determining that it appears to be genuine and to reasonably relate to the employee. If after reviewing the originally presented document, an employer determines that it appears genuine and reasonably relates to the employee, then the employer must accept that document and not request additional documents. If the originally presented document is unavailable or if, after reviewing the original document, the employer concludes that it does not appear to be genuine or to reasonably relate to the individual, the employer should provide the employee with an opportunity to choose a different document to present from the Lists of Acceptable Documents.

We direct you to ICE regarding your question on whether your firm is obligated to train your client on “what to look for in a valid green card.” We reiterate, however, that an employer that subjects documentation to additional scrutiny based on the citizenship, immigration status, or national origin of the employee presenting the documentation may violate the antidiscrimination provision.

OFCCP’s Final Rule on Pay Transparency Became Effective January 11, 2016 (Jan. 12, 2016)

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Due to high demand, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will host a second public webinar on January 28, 2016, on its final rule promoting pay transparency. The final rule amends the existing regulations that implement Executive Order 11246, and helps renew the promise of equal pay for equal work for millions of applicants and employees of covered federal contractors and subcontractors. The final rule will provide these workers with a way to safely discuss their pay, identify potential pay disparities, and seek timely remedies for unwarranted disparities in pay.

During the webinar, presenters from OFCCP’s Division of Policy and Program Development and the Department’s Office of the Solicitor will provide an overview of the final rule, address questions received by the agency since the rule’s September publication, and illustrate the practical application of defenses provided in the rule through several hypothetical scenarios.

Register for a webinar introducing the general requirements of the final rule at:

https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0dba28c08d053114706380b4940399ac.

For more information, go to www.dol.gov/ofccp.