We issued a question to HUD’s Section 3 New Final Rule transition leadership dealing with the serious issue of a possible conflict with labor laws. Because the final rule states the proper method of certifying a Section 3 Worker is to use their prior year income or current income annualized means using income/salary as part of the hiring process. The current laws dealing with protections against asking such questions would put PHA’s and contractors in risky position. Below is HUD’s response:
An employer could ask, on a certification form, if the applicant qualifies under the regulation as a Section 3 worker or a Targeted Section 3 worker without asking directly about income. Since there are other ways that an individual can qualify to be a Section 3 worker under the reg other than just income, the PHA or whoever is doing the hiring would not be directly asking anything about salary, as long as the applicant is not required to indicate how he or she qualifies. After hire, the employer can then periodically ask the employee to recertify for Section 3 purposes, again without asking the worker to disclose anything specifically about compensation.
…We think that you would just need to know that they were one of the criteria to self-certify, not necessarily which ones. If the applicant checks the box that they are Low or very low income (certifying they make below the listed value) that is asking them to identify if they make a maximum wage, which may run afoul of the Illinois law.
If the form were to ask them to certify that they were a Section 3 worker without asking them to identify which criteria they meet, that would be ideal. Then there could be a follow-up question about Targeted Section 3 workers. Something like “if you certified that you are a Section 3 worker above… do you meet one of the following additional criteria?”