As immigration laws become more complex and politically sensitive, it will be important for organizations to become all the more aware of changing requirements. While nonprofits, especially if small, may not be directly affected, it will be a good policy to know the legal compliance issues and to be prepared.
There are three (3) important steps to follow:
- Keep all complete Form I-9s for employed hires after November 6, 1986 in one main file, with copies of the documents the employees provided to verify their eligibility to work. Starting in December 26, 2007, employers were required to use a new Form I-9, which has been changed several times since then. The most recent Form I-9 can always be found at the web site http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9.pdf.
- Consider using the E-Verify system to validate the SSN provided by the employee. E-Verify is a web site provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The web site allows an employer to check and make sure that an employee’s SSN is the same as provided on their hiring documentation. E-Verify is mandatory for government jobs and by some states, but is still voluntary for all other employers.
- In the event an employer receives a ‘no match’ letter or a request for information on suspected documentation, there are steps to take to keep the employer clear of fines. The best source for this situation is http://www.dhs.gov/xprevprot/programs/gc
It is important to remember that an employer who doesn’t stay in compliance with the Immigration and Reform Act (IRCA) can be subject to fines from $110 to $1100 per employee. The Act seeks verification of an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States.
Author: Adrianne DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org