Now that we’re in December, 2018 will be here before we know it. In other words, it's high time to get started on plans for how your business will forge ahead in the new year. Determining strategies through which to remain compliant with regulations that affect your HR processes and employment eligibility requirements will constitute a sizable portion of that planning.
It’s time to consider and review the most important factors that will affect compliance related to Form I-9.
1. Follow procedural changes
Unlike some federal documents that remain essentially unchanged for years, USCIS updates the I-9 with some regularity: The past 12 months featured two overhauls, one in November 2016, the other in July 2016. While the agency hasn't announced any forthcoming alterations, they're certainly a possibility.
To avoid being caught unaware by any such changes, Corporate Counsel recommended signing up for USCIS's email newsletter and regularly checking its website for webinars and teleconferences. This provides a greater opportunity to prepare for new regulations in advance.
2. Implement best practices and policies
Federal requirements for employment eligibility can often be complex, and although many organizations are putting their best foot forward, they may be leaving the door open for liability.
It’s no secret that many organizations across the U.S. have received damaging fines for their lack of compliance with Form I-9 requirements, such as violations of anti-discrimination laws, and simple administrative errors.
Seeing as how your company is not off limits from receiving a notice for inspection, it’s a great to start making sure that your staff is properly trained on the most current requirements, and a consistent processes, for each and every new hire. This will be imperative to reducing risk of a failed I-9 audit, and a potentially costly outcome.
3. Preparing for a government inspection
It’s no secret that existing Forms I-9, can also pose a threat to potential fines incurred from an I-9 audit. Careful review of existing forms and compliant corrections to those documents, should also be a part of your compliance planning for the new year ahead.
Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, employees from the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) at the Department of Justice, and employees from the Department of Labor may inspect an employer’s Form I-9. If your organization is chosen, you may only have up to 3 business to hand over all of the required documentation.
4. Take a proactive approach
An internal Form I-9 audit provides employers with the opportunity to identify and remediate mistakes before government officials investigate, and helps to provide a good faith effort to comply. Additional I-9 audit information provided by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement can be viewed by clicking here.
5. Invest in compliance software
HR software used for onboarding, payroll, and many other HR functions, are often a major area of investment goal many organizations looking to improve and start the new year off on the right foot.
The value in streamlining HR processes, increasing productivity, and limiting liability is significantly beneficial for most HR departments. Implementing a Form I-9 software solution that seamlessly integrates in those HR systems to ensure compliance, and reduce the risk of discriminatory practices also merits serious consideration, before heading into 2018.
Contact I-9 Advantage and discover how we can help you achieve all of your Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance goals in the year ahead.