I-9 Forms can be filled out and retained on paper, but generating and processing them electronically means fewer errors. This is especially true for companies that have a large number of employees, high turnover rates, and/or multiple worksites.
Electronic I-9 systems allow for more efficient employee on-boarding, space-saving, and vastly improved compliance with employment, nondiscrimination and immigration laws. Using the reporting features of these systems, management and HR staff can be alerted to potential compliance problems.
While the employee’s original documents (such as passport, visa, driver’s license, SNN card, etc.) must still be presented in person, HR or other staff anywhere within a company can enter I-9 data directly into a secure system. Such systems have various self-audit features that help to reduce costly mistakes. They also give management a centralized view and control of the hiring process.
For many employers, some type of electronic management system is therefore essential to keep track of all the documents, deadlines, and work visa reverification requirements.
In processing the Form I-9 information, some software programs can also warn HR staff about actions that may amount to unlawful discrimination, although they can’t be a complete substitute for good knowledge of the law and good judgment. The penalties for ignoring the legal requirements of the I-9 process and for discrimination in hiring can be quite severe, even in cases of unintentional omissions and mistakes. The penalties for discrimination based on citizenship status or national origin can range from $275 to $2,200 for the first offense for each individual discriminated against; form $2,200 to $5,500 for the second offense; and for subsequent offenses, not less than $3,300 and not more than $11,000 for each affected person.
If violations occur, electronic management of the I-9 process may help employers establish “good faith” defense in the event they are charged with knowingly hiring an unauthorized foreign national.
Finally, some software programs also help employers manage the records of employees with unusual or temporary work visa authorizations. The law requires that when an employee’s work authorization expires, employers must reverify his or her employment eligibility.
The Tracker I-9™ system from ImmigrationTracker™ combines both Form I-9 employment eligibility and immigration management in one comprehensive package which generates alerts to HR staff about critical visa and I-9 authorization deadlines.
Posted by Tracker I-9™ team.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues.