HRO Today July/August 2015 - 44

Risk and Compliance
I-9
Anywhere
Avoid costly fi nes by following these best practices for successful
completion of Form I-9 for remote employees.
By Angela Lockman
More and more companies have a distributed workforce,
with the number of offsite job postings growing 26
percent in the last year, according to Entrepreneur.com.
Whether companies are bringing on remote employees
in order to provide greater work-life balance or to access
key talent outside the company's immediate location,
hiring remote and virtual employees has become an
everyday occurrence. While a remote workforce can help
to create a more satisfi ed team and provide access to a
larger candidate pool, onboarding and managing offsite
employees can create signifi cant challenges, especially
during Form I-9 completion.
Many sources report that across the board, 60 to 80
percent of all I-9s contain errors. And with the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspection
of Form I-9, employers face an average fi ne rate of $935
per incorrct form, according to Poyner Spruill. This means
that an employer with 5,000 new hires could have fi ne
exposure in the millions of dollars (see Figure 1). So it's
essential that companies maintain I-9 compliance to avoid
these costly fi nes and prevent reputational damage.
Expanded Remote Hiring, Expanded Opportunity for Risk
Since the enactment of the Immigration and Reform
Control Act of 1986, employers have been required to
maintain a Form I-9 on all current employees. Though
Form I-9 is short, it is so complex: In fact, there is a 70-page
manual of instructions on how to complete it, as well as
a section of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS) website specifi cally dedicated to completion of it.
The document is intended to demonstrate to the employer
that the individual who is being hired is who they say they
are (to confi rm identity) and that they are authorized
[44]
HRO TODAY MAGAZINE
| JULY/AUGUST 2015
to work in the United States (to ensure employment is
authorized). Despite the form being only two pages,
common confusion among employers creates potential
for errors leading to noncompliance, which creates fertile
grounds for investigation and potential action by U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), USCIS' sister
agency under the Department of Homeland Security.
One example of common confusion is that employers do
not need all three lists in Section 2 completed. In fact,
this could be considered " document abuse, " potentially
leading to concerns from the Offi ce of Special Counsel
(OSC) for unfair immigration-related employment
practices. Or ensuring that the most current version of
the Form I-9 is being used since it's illegal to use previous
versions.
The new hire must complete Section 1 and can use a
preparer or translator to do so. Section 2 is reserved for
the employer upon demonstration by the employee of the
required documents. One of the most challenging parts
for remote hires is the requirement that all employees
be in front of a completer, because the employer must
physically inspect
the documents
and complete the
attestation under
penalty of perjury
within three
business days of
hire.
Figure 1: Potential I-9 Fines
As offsite workers
may not be in
close proximity to
http://www.Entrepreneur.com

HRO Today July/August 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today July/August 2015

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