Pennsylvania schools must screen anyone who is going to have contact with students but some are ignoring the requirements, Georgia passes a lactation law that is a dramatic improvement on the federal version, and ICE extends Form I-9 accommodations again. It’s all in today’s EBI Screening News Weekly Wrap.
PA Schools Not Doing Proper Background Checks
After the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University, Pennsylvania legislators went right to work to try to prevent such abuse in the future. They created PA Act 153, a statewide law that requires anyone working with children to have a very thorough background check. Teachers, coaches, volunteers, and others, must have a criminal history check through the state’s PATCH system, a child abuse clearance through the Department of Public Welfare’s database, and an FBI fingerprint check.
During a recent criminal investigation, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says his team discovered that some districts are not doing the child abuse database searches. Shapiro shared the findings with every school district in the state calling it a warning.
There are no exceptions to the law. Even police officers, doctors, elected officials, and clergy must have all three background checks in order to work or volunteer with children.
There is no word on what consequences districts will face if they continue skirting the law.
Georgia’s Broad New Lactation Law
Georgia has just passed new legislation to help breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, and it goes well above and beyond laws on the books in any other states and those enforced by the federal government.
If you have ever returned to work after having a baby, you may have had your share of challenges when it came to managing time and a place to pump. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to provide new mothers unpaid time and an appropriate place - other than a bathroom - until their child is a year old. This only applies to hourly employees.
Now, thanks to Charlotte’s Law, providing lactation breaks for both hourly and salaried employees is mandatory, as is the private location. But this law goes even further. It mandates the breaks be paid time if the employee is working on-site, and there is no stop date, since many mothers choose to continue breastfeeding past one year.
The law was passed on August 5th and went into effect immediately.
ICE Delays Again
Last month we predicted we would be reporting yet another extension in the relaxed Form I-9 Section 2 rules… and here we are!
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced another extension of the COVID-19 induced flexibility when it comes to filling out part of the Form I-9. Since the pandemic started, the agency has allowed employers to examine Section 2 documents virtually instead of in person.
The new extension pushes the accommodations until September 19th. Just remember, this only applies to employers who are still hiring remotely.