National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) - InTouch Magazine, Summer 2022

30 NAMA InTouch • Summer 2022 accommodation played a major role in dealing with the dayto-day pandemic issues (e.g., mask mandates, vaccination mandates). Along with a solid equal employment opportunity policy and anti-discrimination and harassment policy, operators should include a reasonable accommodation process in their handbooks. Employees should be informed about what to do and what to expect if they need either a disability or religious accommodation. The policy should advise where to go to ask for such an accommodation. The policy should state what the interactive process is so the employee will understand what is expected of them during this time (i.e., working with the employee’s doctor, offering reasonable accommodations). While this is highly recommended for pandemic times, it is also a good policy to have for non-pandemic-related disability and religious accommodation requests to curb discrimination complaints. Relaxed Documentation Requirements for Form I-9s The relaxed documentation requirements allowed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) ended on April 30, 2022. Starting May 1, 2022, employers may only accept unexpired “List B” documents specified on the form as documents that establish identity. Additionally, employers that previously accepted expired List B documents between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022 need to review their Form I-9s to determine if any update to the I-9 is required. To prevent substantial fines during an audit, the following steps should be taken and any necessary forms updated no later than July 31, 2022: • I f an employee is still employed and the document’s expiration date was not automatically extended by the issuing authority, the employee must provide an unexpired document that establishes identity. Employees may present the renewed List B document, a different List B document, or a document from List A (documents that establish both identity and employment authorization). In the “Additional Information” field of Section 2 on Form I-9, the employer needs to enter the document title, issuing authority, number and expiration date. The company employee making the changes to the form needs to initial and date the change. • I f a List B document’s expiration date was auto-extended by the issuing authority of the document prior to its submission during the I-9 process, DHS is treating that as “unexpired when presented” and no further action is required. • I f an employee is no longer employed, no further action is required. Sick Leave for COVID-19 Absences or Vaccinations Many state and local governments implemented laws that required employers to give employees paid sick leave when taking time off to deal with COVID-19 for themselves and for family members, and even time off to obtain COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters. Some have expired, some have not, and some have been nullified. Employers should check to ensure they are following the most updated mandates and ordinances. For these and other pandemic best practices, labor and employment counsel can provide support. Heather A. Bailey, Esq., a partner with SmithAmundsen LLC and a NAMA Knowledge Source partner for over 18 years, focuses her practice on employment and labor issues for employers. NAMAmembers receive 15 minutes of complimentary human resources consultations each quarter. Contact Bailey at 312-894-3266 or hbailey@smithamundsen.com. A free COVID-19 Resource Center is available at www.salawus.com/practices-covid19task-force.html that includes the latest updates on issues affecting your vending operations. HR Column

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