Important Legal Updates: I-9, FMLA, HIPAA, & H-1B Petitions

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New I-9 Form

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a revised Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 Form which contains many improvements including new fields, reformatting, and clearer instructions for 2013. Employers should begin using this I-9 form (effective date: March 8, 2013), however previous versions of the form may be used until May 7, 2013.

I-9 Form
Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9

FMLA Changes

Important updates to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) went into effect on March 8, 2013. These updates included expanded protections for veterans and exigency leave as well as modified rules for airline personnel and flight crews.

FMLA Poster

WH-380-E Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee’s Serious Health Condition
WH-380-F Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
WH-381 Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities
WH-382 Designation Notice
WH-384 Certification of Qualifying Exigency For Military Family Leave
WH-385 Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Current Service Member for Military Family Leave
WH-385-V Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave

New HIPAA Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a 2013 final omnibus rule which increases protections related to privacy and security for health information established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).  The primary areas addressed in the rule include privacy/security, breach notification, enforcement, and genetic information.

The rule took effect on March 26, 2013. Compliance was required by September 23, 2013.

H-1B Petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will start accepting H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2014. The USCIS will accept updated H-1B petitions after April 1, 2013 until the H-1B cap has been reached. For fiscal year 2014, the limit is 65,000 petitions and an additional 20,000 visas are available for foreign nationals who have earned a U.S. Master’s degree or higher.

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