Form I-9, or the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is crucial documentation all businesses must have in order to verify all of their employees’ identities and their eligibility to work in the U.S. Completed I-9 Forms are used to check the validity and accuracy of Social Security numbers and immigration documents and it’s mandatory that all employers comply with the legal requirements of the federal government by having these forms on file for each of their employees.
In the past, the employment verification process has been riddled with problems such as errors resulting from illegible writing, incorrectly completed forms, expired forms, and employers were overwhelmed with managing the mounds of paperwork involved. Non-compliance results in government audits and stiff financial penalties so employers are forced to search for ways to set up a more efficient Form I-9 management process while working toward adopting a paperless solution. The rules are now strictly enforced by the Department of Homeland Security and if a company is audited and found to be non-compliant, reasons such as ignorance or oversight are no longer acceptable.
It’s therefore imperative that employers are knowledgeable about the rules, regulations and guidelines of the Form I-9 management process and that they find a way to maintain and retain all up-to-date I-9 Forms in an organized manner. Today, employers have the choice of using Form I-9 management software or selecting companies which provide these solutions by completely handling the Form I-9 management process. With these new solutions, this management process is handled electronically and contains the following services:
• submission of completed, error-free I-9 forms;
• electronic storage and retrieval of current I-9 Forms and automatic disposal of inactive I-9 Forms;
• monitoring to give timely notification of I-9 Forms that are about to expire and alerts when completion of additional documentation is required;
• updating employers by giving instructions on compliance regulations and any changes or modifications of forms that may be necessary; and
• supplying recommendations for further organizing and simplifying the process;
Ultimately, the goal is to establish a paperless solution that will include the compliance of all laws and regulations involved with the Form I-9 management process. Because of all the intricacies and details involved, employers are faced with the job of finding proactive and preventive solutions which will keep them out of the grips of government audits. This is best achieved with the support of a company or solution that’s available whenever needed with all of the above-referenced solutions. Another benefit of obtaining a solution for managing this process is it will eventually eliminate the disruptive and costly turnover of employees who are found to be legally unauthorized to work, resulting in a more stable and productive workforce.