Electronic Form I-9 / E-Verify Database…. Beware of the Hidden Liability

Under the Immigration and Reform and Control Act of 1986, employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. The Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of those individuals.

It is a well-established principal that... choosing the right electronic Form I-9 vendor will help employers dramatically improve their overall compliance posture while simultaneously reducing the everyday costs and administrative burdens of completing and retaining the Form I-9.

However, it is critical that employers considering an electronic Form I-9 vendor exercise sufficient levels of due diligence before choosing any particular solution.  An electronic Form I-9 must meet the minimum requirements set out in the regulations for electronic retention and signature of I-9 forms or the employer risks the possibility of having its I-9s (created and retained in the program) invalidated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during an I-9 inspection. 

Another aspect of the due diligence process is an electronic Form I-9 vendor’s compliance with its E-Verify program obligations.

If you are an E-Verify employer, choosing a vendor wisely……will significantly ease the burdens of managing the E-Verify process.  A comprehensive solution will provide immediate access to E-Verify program and make initiation of the E-Verify query a seamless part of the process for completing an electronic Form I-9.

It is important to note that……on January 20, 2017, Senator Chuck Grassley reintroduced the “Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act” that would amend the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 and permanently authorize and require employers to use the E-Verify program. The bill requires:

  • Federal agencies, contractors, and critical employers to participate in E-Verify;

  • All U.S. employers to participate in E-Verify within one year of enactment of this Act; and

  • Employers using a contract, subcontract, or exchange to obtain labor to certify that they utilize E-Verify.

In addition, E-Verify mandates are increasingly being imposed at the state and local level, as well as the requirements that federal contractors already face. 

Now is the time for employers to evaluate their Form I-9 and E-Verify procedures…establish well-defined Standard Operating Procedures….and confirm compliance with the electronic Form I-9 completion, retention and signatures requirements.

 

About electronic Form I-9

Form I-9 Compliance, LLC offers an advanced, web-based technology that fully automates the electronic completion, signature, storage and tracking of the Form I-9. The Form I-9 Compliance approach involves working with company representatives to understand current I-9 programs, identify existing concerns, trends or problems before outlining new and improved standard operating procedures.

 

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Thomas Brechtel J.D.

Written by Thomas Brechtel J.D.

As a senior member of the Form I-9 Compliance LLC Executive Team since 2004, Thomas is focused on proactively aiding organizations in developing and maintaining compliant immigration related employment practices by providing comprehensive I-9 policy reviews, step-by-step electronic transition planning, assistance in developing new hires procedures and I-9 / E-Verify training.



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