HR Update: March 14th, 2023

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  • HR Update: March 14th, 2023

USCIS Changes Policy Guidance Regarding Special Student Relief

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that it is clarifying the validity period of off-campus employment authorization for international students pursuant to the Special Student Relief (SSR) package. Special Student Relief is the special benefit awarded to certain groups of international students who are here on F-1 status and are experiencing severe economic hardship due to emergent circumstances in their country. Learn More


New York Delays and Limits Regulation of “Quotas” for Warehouse Workers

In June of 2022, the New York legislature passed the Warehouse Worker Protection Act (WWPA) (A10020/S8922), which Governor Hochul signed into law on December 21, 2022. This legislation followed similar legislation in California that regulates the use of work-related “quotas” in warehouse settings. While the WWPA initially went into effect on February 19, 2023, the governor signed a subsequent bill (A1000/S851) on March 3, 2023. This new law extends the effective date from 30 days to 180 days from the WWPA’s original February 19, 2023 enactment to June 19, 2023, and significantly amends several provisions of the WWPA. Learn More


USCIS Clarifies Guidance on O-1B Extraordinary Ability Visa Eligibility and Updates USCIS Policy Manual

On March 3, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued new policy guidance, Evaluating Eligibility for O-1B Visa Category, which describes new updates made to the USCIS Policy Manual. The new USCIS guidance aims to clarify the adjudication of O-1B visas for nonimmigrant workers of extraordinary ability in the arts and nonimmigrant workers of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. The new guidance is effective immediately and aims to improve predictable and transparent application of O-1B evidentiary requirements, as well as improve consistency and efficiency in USCIS decision-making. These updates were based on stakeholder comments in response to a request for public input made by USCIS on May 19, 2021. Learn More


Philadelphia Issues Rules on COVID Paid Sick Leave, and Revises “During COVID” Rules for Regular and Healthcare Employee Paid Sick Leave

On February 28, 2023, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor (PDOL) published regulations concerning three distinct types of job-protected paid leave employers must provide under the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces Ordinance (PHFWO). This is the third iteration of what PDOL labels its “supplemental regulation” of the PHFWO. This article briefly recaps the history of these three paid leave requirements and highlights notable changes, or clarifications, that the most recent rules provide. Learn More


What COVID-19 Leave Is Left?

As we mark the third anniversary of COVID-19 compliance challenges in the United States, we are gifting employers a roundup of where things stand with COVID-19 (or related) leave requirements. We highlight laws that did not make it to 2023, along with requirements that expired earlier this year, will expire soon, or will not expire until the end of the year. Additionally, we note laws currently in effect for which there is either a “to be determined” expiration date or, in one instance, none at all. Finally, we wrap things up with a reminder about the permanent changes made to some of the unpaid state family leave laws, which may be triggered in the event of future public health emergencies. Learn More


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Lisa Smith, SPHR, SHRM – SCP

Certified EEO Investigator (EEOC)

Lead Support and Content Chief – HelpDeskforHR.com

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