Employment Screening 101: Electronic I-9 and E-verify-Part 16
April 25, 2008
U.S. Employers have historically been overwhelmed by the cumbersome process of I-9 Forms and compliance with I-9 Regulations. Fines for inaccurately completed I-9 Forms range from $300 to $3000 per occurrence. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) mandates that U.S. employers authenticate the employment eligibility status of newly hired employees and makes it illegal for employers to knowingly hire or continue to employ unauthorized workers. As a designated agent for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), employeescreenIQ ® can automate your I-9 process and allow your company to participate in the DHS E-Verify program. (Previously called the SAVE and/or Basic Pilot Program).
Ask any HR executive about their I-9 process and their eyes begin to water before they can spit the words out. Names spelled wrong, social security numbers don’t match, proper identification isn’t verified. Let’s face it, it’s a time consuming process that often is executed incorrectly and the penalties for lax policies are scary. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 mandates that US employers verify the employment eligibility status of new employees. Until recently, this was accomplished most typically by examining a few pieces of identification while hoping the ID documents were authentic, entering the relevant information on the I-9 form, and filing it away in the employee file. It was pretty much forgotten at this point unless and until the government decided to audit your I-9 files to make sure you were not employing illegal workers. Still, many employers are fined for incorrectly filling out the I-9, even though they are employing legal workers. There was no external oversight or feasible process available to gain assurance that you are indeed employing legal workers, or gain the peace of mind that your documentation was all in order every time.
What Can You Do?
Fortunately, this problem is common to all organizations and now employeescreenIQ offers Employment Eligibility Verification and Electronic I-9 Filing through our partnership with Form I-9 Compliance LLC. These tools can reduce your workload and keep you in compliance. The product that Form I-9 has developed allows employers the ability to fill out a “smart” I-9 form on-line that ensures it is filled out completely and correctly. From there, an employer can simply store the document in an on-line archive or can seamlessly and electronically verify employment eligibility instantly through the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Within moments the system will give you a confirmation of the employee’s eligibility or it will indicate a non-confirmation. In occurrences of non-confirmation, the system will walk the employer step by step through the error and illustrate how to resolve the issue. Some of the common issues may be resolved with a few keystrokes. Others require follow-up from both you and your employee; the Form I-9 system will send you regular reminders indicating the number of days your employee has to resolve the non-confirmation. If the non-confirmed employee fails to respond through the appropriate channels within the legally mandated grace period, or if employment eligibility is ultimately found ineligible for employment, the system will indicate that the employee must be terminated. You may continue to employ workers who have received the initial non-confirmation until their employment eligibility has been confirmed through these channels.
The system can also be used for re-verifications, such as when an individual legally changes their name or when a foreign employee’s Green Card expires and is re-issued. The system will track and notify you of upcoming expiration dates for workers without permanent authorization.
Program Features Include:
– Comprehensive and error free electronic I-9 form processing and storage
– Electronic signature module that is fully compliant with the E-Sign Act
– Integration of this electronic process into your background check results
– Instant confirmation of “Right to Work”
– Receive automated alerts 90, 60 and 30 days in advance of the expiration of employees work authorization documents.
– Automated Tentative Non Confirmation (TNC) compliance
– Simplify and improve your I-9 process
– Mitigate your risk during I-9 Form Audits
– Allow your company to centralize and automate the entire I-9 Process
– Remove paper from the process
– Removes guesswork from I9 document review during the Form I-9 process
– Allows participating employers to confirm employment eligibility of all newly hired employees
– Improves the accuracy of wage and tax reporting
– Protects jobs for authorized United States workers
Many states are already mandating this process with twenty more states coming on board by the end of the calendar year. While not a part of the background screening process, E-Verify is a critical step in solidifying a reputable workforce. While lobbying with NAPBS® we have found a lot of support for a federal bill requiring full deployment of E-verify within five years. For more information on E-verify feel free to contact us: http://www.employeescreen.com/requests/freedemo.asp
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