File this under "mundane" but necessary. Two sets of new forms (and a poster) have been released by the U.S. Government for use by HR professionals and companies in two very different circumstances.courtesy morgue file paper - not public domain

First, the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) has issued a new rule with that revises Form I-9 and the list of documents that are acceptable to prove identity and employment authorization. (This form is needed when employers hire new employees.) Employers will be given a 45-day grace period to begin using the new form. Failing to do so may result in fines.(H/T Washington Employment Law Update)

The most noticeable change to the rules is that employers will no longer be able to accept expired documents as proof of citizenship. Some of the other changes are more technical, than substantive.  You can view all of the information regarding the form (as well as the form when it becomes available) at the CIS website here.

New rules regarding FMLA leave are going into effect next month. (H/T Ohio Employer’s Law Blog.) In advance of those regulations, the DOL has issued new forms that can be used by employers. (Use of the forms is not mandatory, but strongly recommended as a way to comply with the rule is a ready fashion.) As noted by the Ohio blog: 

The Department provides optional forms for use by employers and employees during the FMLA process.  The Department has revised its Certification of Health Care Provider form (WH-380), and divided it into two separate forms for an Employee’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380E) and a Family Member’s Serious Health Condition (WH-380F).  The Department has also revised its Notice of Eligibility and Rights and Responsibilities form (WH-381).  In addition, the Department has added new forms for Designation Notice to Employee of FMLA Leave (WH-382), Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave (WH-384), and Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Servicemember for Military Family Leave (WH-385).

The new FMLA rule is effective January 16, 2009 so now’s the time to start revising your policies and forms.  (I’ll be giving a presentation next month on the subject as well; details to follow soon).