February 2, 2023
Business Confidence Slips to Begin 2023
A strong performance by the Massachusetts economy during the fourth quarter of 2022 was not enough to stem…Read More
If you're an AIM member please login to your AIM account to view this post:
Posted on January 10, 2023
The AIM HR Hotline team fields employment questions of all types, from members seeking clarification about a law to those in need of a sounding board before making a difficult employment decision.
Many of the answers we provide are drawn from information that is available online. Accessing government websites may expedite or enrich the discussion of various options for the employer. Having the information in black and white may also make it easier to explain complex issues to colleagues.
We will be adding information from other agencies throughout 2023 based on trends we see from the hotline or the emergence of new or complicated issues.
We have put together the following guidance on where to find answers in a few areas that HR professionals tend to find challenging. Those who handle these matters may want to bookmark the links provided.
Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML)
A large percentage of hotline calls over the past two years have related to PFML. Questions arise about eligibility, length of leave, documentation, return to work, and the anti-retaliation provision of the PFML law. Many of these issues are addressed in resources that are accessible online.
The commonwealth has a comprehensive website where you will find many answers to your PFML questions: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-family-and-medical-leave. The website has information for both employees and employers about applying for leave and managing leaves.
The employer FAQs on the website are particularly helpful to interpret and comply with the PFML law: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/pfml-frequently-asked-questions-for-employers.
Finally, the Department of Family and Medical Leave’s regulations are a useful resource for employers: https://www.mass.gov/doc/458-cmr-2-family-and-medical-leave/download. The regulations can be difficult to sort through, but they cover all aspects of the PFML process.
I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification
Another area that can be troublesome for employers is completion of the Form I-9 for new hires. We recommend designating one employee, who is trained in completing the I-9, to handle all I-9s. This ensures that they are correct and that the process is consistent. That person will also be well versed in the nuances of the law if your company should ever experience a Form I-9 audit.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Agency (USCIS) was expected to update the I-9 form in October 2022, but it postponed issuance of the new form. The current form can be found here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
Sometimes employees present an unfamiliar form of documentation, or their legal status is one that is unknown to the employer. The USCIS publishes a handbook for employers, the M-274, to address many of these questions: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-resources/handbook-for-employers-m-274.
These resources will not always provide answers to employers’ questions on these topics, but they are useful as a first step.
Members with questions may call the AIM Employer Hotline at 800-470-6277.