Human Resources News

HR NEWS YOU CAN USE – Issue 11 – December 2016

In this issue:

Legal Updates & Reminders

  • 22: Texas judge issues a temporary injunction, delaying implementation of the new overtime rules set to be effective Dec. 1.
  • 14: New I-9 form is rolled out, for implementation in January 2017


Temporary Injunction on Implementation of the New Overtime Rules:

A Blessing or a Curse??


You were ready for it. Or maybe you weren’t. But now you are in limbo. If your company was one with lots of employees potentially impacted by the new overtime rules set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, the announcement November 22 of the temporary injunction halting its implementation was perhaps a mixed blessing. You and others in your company had already invested a significant amount of time and energy estimating the various cost scenarios of raising base pay or paying overtime to these employees. You probably had already communicated to those impacted what you would be doing, why you would do it, and when it would go into effect. And then with only a week to ponder this news, you had to decide whether to implement your plans to address the new rules anyway, or back track to take a wait-and-see approach. There probably isn’t a right or wrong answer here.


It is unlikely that this issue will be resolved before January 20, 2017, the date of President-Elect Trump’s inauguration. Assuming that’s the case, it is likely that a new, probably more employer-friendly  Department of Labor will withdraw the legal appeal filed under the Obama DOL, and just let the injunction stand. President Trump may then ask his new Secretary of Labor to review the situation and propose recommendations that might address some of the concerns business has had. Namely, the doubling of the salary threshold for exempt status, and perhaps excluding non-profits, higher education and public employees.


Of course, there is a remote possibility that the judge’s preliminary injunction order is reversed on appeal before January 20, 2017. If that happens, it is possible that employers who chose to take the wait and see position could face legal exposure under the Fair Labor Standards Act.  All we can do is wait and see, and keep our fingers crossed that won’t happen!


New “User-Friendly” I-9 Form Ready For You!

No question about it, the current I-9 Form could use a dose of ‘friendly’! The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) has been working on updating this form for some time, and it sounds like some real improvements have been made. The current I-9 form (dated March 8, 2013) may continue to be used until January 21, 2017, but the new form must be used beginning January 22. You can access the new I-9 form online at www.uscis.gov/i-9.


Some highlights of the new form are:

  • Separating the instructions from the form, into a more extensive instruction document
  • A dedicated area for additional information
  • Both a fillable and a plain paper I-9 form are available (although it is not an electronic form allowing for electronic signatures)
  • Adobe-based document provides dropdown lists, calendars for date fields, and specific on-screen instructions drawn from the instruction document
  • The USCIS plans to update the Handbook for Employers (Form M-274) by January, presumably providing more guidance


One of the significant challenges faced by employers is the hiring of employees in remote locations, and how/who to complete and verify the I-9 form. Unfortunately, it sounds as though the updated instructions still do not provide practical guidance on how employers should handle this situation. This is such a common situation in the private sector, maybe it can be addressed in the new Trump administration!




The goal of this monthly e-newsletter is to briefly bring you current news in the HR world that could impact your company and how you interact with your employees, and also to share some tips and lessons learned for keeping your company compliant with the myriad of federal and state employment-related rules and regulations. This newsletter is not intended to provide legal guidance to you. 

Next Post Previous Post

Your email address will not be published.

The Benefit Company
Based on 13 reviews
powered by Google
Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor
15:28 07 Feb 20
I have been working with The Benefits Company for more than 3 years and our organization has been a client for many... more. Every member of the team is very responsive and professional. The often present to our C-Suite and the C-Suite values the partnership.TBC goes above and beyond with any request that we have as it pertains to our benefits or HR programs. Every year they present us with various considerations to consider for the next year. John Hearn is has great knowledge industry. Our account manager, Stacy Cook, is very responsive and is an extension of my team.read more
19:21 05 Feb 20
I can't say enough good things about my experience. During my cancer diagnosis, the last thing you want to worry about... is how your Insurance Company is going to actually work for you. I of course, had many questions, which were always answered in "full detail". Amy Towe, our Insurance representative could not have been more helpful. She would check on things for me and always got me an answer promptly. Amy was always available when ever I had a question. She defiantly made the entire process easier. I truly can say enough about her. Her caring was so appreciated throughout my entire journey.Angela Adamsread more
Anne Lalinde
Anne Lalinde
19:09 05 Feb 20
Have worked with The Benefit Company for years through different companies. I appreciate the boutique level services... provided. The Benefit Company is a class act.read more
Marilyn Wiederhold
Marilyn Wiederhold
17:36 05 Feb 20
I have worked with The Benefit Company for over 8 years. They are the best!! Amy Towe and Christine Muro are so... helpful. they make my life so much easier!!read more
Andrea Glass
Andrea Glass
17:30 05 Feb 20
My experience working with the benefit company has been SENSATIONAL! They are truly customer driven, and go above and... beyond to deliver amazing customer service!read more
See All Reviews