Complying with federal regulations related to employment eligibility verification is crucial to ensure a safe and legal workforce. The I-9 form is critical to verify the employment authorization and identity of individuals hired for employment in the U.S.
As an HR professional, you must ensure that your organization fully complies with the Form I-9 verification requirements. By implementing effective policies and conducting remote I-9 verification, your team can help mitigate the risk of costly fines or reputational damage to your company.
Understand the Requirements for I-9 Forms
Understanding the requirements for I-9 forms is essential for maintaining I-9 verification compliance. HR professionals must be trained to identify acceptable forms of identification, verification timelines, and document retention policies when completing I-9 forms for new hires.
For example, employers must verify all employees’ identities and employment eligibility within three days of hire using the I-9 form. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and legal penalties.
Implement an I-9 Verification Policy
Your team must implement an I-9 verification policy to ensure compliance and maintain a legal workforce. A well-rounded policy will include clear guidelines for completing and retaining Form I-9 records, acceptable forms of identification, verification timelines, and document retention policies.
For example, your I-9 policy should require completing Section 1 of Form I-9 on or before the employee’s first day and Section 2 within three business days. It should also include guidelines for retaining the form as required per the USCIS, three years after the hiring date or a year after their employment ends.
Use I-9 Verification Software
Using I-9 verification software can help employers maintain compliance with federal regulations and streamline the verification process. Cloud-based software that integrates with the government’s E-Verify system can provide real-time verification of employment eligibility for new hires, simplifying your HR workload.
Digital I-9 software also offers remote I-9 verification, which can aid employers with remote or hybrid workers. This feature uses geolocation, IP address data, and time logs to verify compliance remotely.
Electronic completion and storage of Form I-9 records and automated reminders for document expiration dates can help employers stay on top of their compliance requirements. This allows employers to save time, reduce errors, and maintain full compliance.
Conduct Regular Audits
Conducting regular I-9 audits is essential for maintaining compliance with I-9 verification laws. An effective audit should include reviewing all I-9 forms and ensuring they are properly completed, signed, and retained according to applicable laws and regulations.
The audit should identify errors or omissions in the I-9 forms and prompt corrective action. HR teams can use an I-9 audit checklist provided by their software or perform mock audits to test internal processes to identify and correct any compliance issues proactively, mitigating the risks associated with non-compliance.
Maintain I-9 Verification Compliance at Your Organization
Using cloud-based onboarding software for remote I-9 verification can streamline the process and help ensure compliance with federal regulations. With features such as electronic completion and storage of Form I-9 records and real-time tracking of verification status, you can save time and reduce errors to minimize risk and maintain compliance for your company.