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Virtual Form I-9, New Background Check Law, New York Legalizes Marijuana

In today’s Weekend Roundup, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will continue to allow virtual document inspections for Form I-9, Illinois passes a new Senate Bill that tightens restrictions on employer use of criminal background checks, and New York legalizes marijuana, providing protections for cannabis users in the workplace, housing, family court, and elsewhere. Click the links below to learn more.

ICE Extends Virtual Form I-9 Review Until May 31

An interim policy allowing virtual document-inspection methods for Form I-9 has been extended by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until May 31.

The policy was first issued in March 2020 and has been extended several times.

The provision initially applied only to employers and workplaces that were operating completely remotely because of the public health crisis, but ICE is now offering more flexibility for companies that are bringing employees back to the office, according to Dawn Lurie, senior counsel in the immigration practice group of Seyfarth Shaw’s Washington, D.C., office.

Illinois’ New Background Check Law

On March 23, 2021, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1480, which amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to impose robust new restrictions and obligations on employers’ use of background checks in Illinois. The new law, which applies to both applicants and employees, takes effect immediately. Illinois employers may consider conviction history only in limited circumstances and in the context of explicit mitigating factors.

New York Marijuana Legalization

Right now, in New York State, adults 21 and older can legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana, but they can’t legally sell it or grow it until after the retail system is set up, which will likely take a year or longer.

“I assure you that there’s a full implementation of this law (that) will be beneficial to all of our communities and, quite frankly, to the great state of New York,” New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said earlier this week.

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