HR Compliance

1 Big Reason to Verify Your I-9s Are in Compliance

By

Kristin Birchell

| Jun 18, 2019

Raids by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are up – way up. Data from the federal agency shows that between fiscal years 2017 and 2018, arrests of unauthorized workers have increased twofold and ninefold, respectively.

‘Routine I-9 audit’

On April 3, ICE carried out its largest worksite operation in the last 10 years, arresting more than 280 employees of CVE Technology Group Inc. in Allen, Texas. The agency stated the raid is part of its commitment to “creating a culture of compliance among employers.”

In this case, as with all criminal cases ICE pursues, the operation began “with a routine I-9 audit,” as reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Increased scrutiny and enforcement from the federal government on whether employees are authorized to work in this country means employers need to be fully aware of the state of their I-9 compliance. If you can’t remember the last time you completed an I-9 audit, you should begin one immediately.

Verify it

In November 2018, Ernst & Young research found that in companies where manual processes are still in place for HR data, 12% of I-9s contain errors.

That’s why even if you think an audit may be unlikely, it’s important to know whether those documents are error-free. Conducting an internal I-9 audit is one way to do that.

Another way employers can gain peace of mind and ensure I-9s are completed properly is by allowing employees to complete them digitally during onboarding, which decreases the chance of inaccurate data by removing HR from the middle of the process.

Another crucial step is for employers to automatically confirm employment eligibility of their applicants with the Department of Homeland Security, through the E-Verify® service. These checks can be run within Paycom’s application, which also securely stores completed I-9s and provides 90-day re-verification notices to help organizations maintain consistent immigration practices.

I-9 compliance is a cornerstone of any HR function. Continually auditing and keeping aware of any legislative changes will ensure your organization is best prepared for an audit.

About the Author

Kristin Birchell

As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Kristin Birchell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, with a focus on labor and employment laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. Previously, she served as an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Derryberry & Naifeh LLP. Birchell earned a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Central Missouri, and her Juris Doctor from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, hiking, going to the movies and spending time with her husband.

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