Filed under: Human Resources, Notes from Jim | Tags: E-Verify, employees, Human Resources, Immigration Reform, PEO, US Immigration
July 13, 2011
It’s Better to Be Safe than Sorry
By Jim Guttmann, SPHR
Unless you’ve been living in another country (or perhaps on another planet), you would know that the subject of immigration reform is a hot and evolving topic in the United States. For employers, the Department of Homeland Security is very serious about making sure that companies don’t hire individuals who are ineligible to work here. In fact, The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office has announced their intent to ramp up audits of employers this year by establishing an “Employment Compliance Inspection Center.” This new center will add up to 20 forensic auditors to review the completion of I-9 forms by employers. If they should find undocumented workers (or just I-9 forms that have been improperly completed), employers can be subject to significant fines and even run the risk of having their doors shut. On this issue, it is better for employers to be safe than sorry. Click here for additional information about the Department of Homeland Security’s Enforcement Actions:
Now various states are getting into the act by becoming more directly involved in the I-9 verification process. There is a significant movement in many states throughout the country (including Florida) to use the “E-Verify” program. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility. By using E-Verify to determine the employment eligibility of their employees, companies become part of the solution in addressing the problem of undocumented workers. At the present time, there are a total of 17 states that require the use of E-Verify in some manner.
In June of 2004, Landrum elected to voluntarily participate in the pilot program for E-Verify. Being fully engaged in the process for seven years now, one could say that Landrum has been on the right side of history on this issue. E-Verify has proven to be a very effective process (e.g. in determining if there are problems with individuals here on work visas or finding that there is a discrepancy with a person’s social security records). However, for this process to work as it should, the I-9 form must be properly completed at time of hire and immediately run through E-Verify (no later than the first 3 days of the individual’s employment). Taking this process seriously and doing it the right way gives our clients some peace of mind during these challenging times.
As new legislation continues to occur on the immigration reform issue in the months and years ahead, you can be assured that Landrum will keep you fully abreast on these matters. And by being proactive in this matter of compliance with the law, Landrum strongly believes that our clients feel like we do – It’s Better to Be Safe than Sorry!
As a Landrum Professional Human Resources Manager, Jim is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has over 20 years of HR generalist experience for a large government contractor and Fortune 500 Company. He holds a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University and is an active member of the Greater Pensacola Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management (GPCSHRM), previously serving as their Vice President of Information Services and Chairman of the Workplace Diversity Committee. Jim is also certified as a County Mediator and in the administration of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).