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April 7th, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions

HR Professionals Voice Strong Support for Mandated Form I-9 & E-Verify Systems

Man and woman in red chairs

It’s the first day of a new job. You are already nervous about starting at a new job, finding your way around a new office, meeting new people and taking on new challenges. It might just be me, but one of my biggest worries was making sure that I had my “documentation” (My driver’s license, passport or social security card) with me to prove that I am eligible to work in the United States. I was always afraid if I didn’t give this to the hiring or HR manager, I wouldn’t be able to work. I always wondered if there was a way to make this process less stressful!

I am not the only one thinking that. HR professionals share the same sentiment in a recently released study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in collaboration with the Council for Global Immigration entitled 2016 Employment Verification (E-Verify). SHRM randomly selected over 450 HR professional members to participate in the study in late 2016.

Employment Verification and E-Verify

On the first day of a new job, all employees are required to fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification Form (or Form I-9). What is employment verification and how what is the tool to verify employment? According to SHRM, it is “The process in which employees provide documents that verify their eligibility to work in the United States. As part of this process, employers review the documents and complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) as required under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986.” The verification process is done manually via paper, or through E-Verify, a voluntary internet-based program created by the U.S. government that compares information from employees Form I-9 to government databases.

Key Takeaways from Survey

The SHRM Employment Verification Survey “was conducted for the purpose of assessing, evaluating and monitoring current employment verification procedures and practices in US organizations as reported by HR and immigration professionals. The survey results give US authorities, governing bodies, business professionals and public policy makers with empirical evidence and context they can use when comparing organizations’ current practices with established employment verification rules, laws and regulations set forth by the US government.” The same type of survey was also completed in 2006 and 2014.

The majority of the findings of the 2016 report are similar to the results from earlier reports. The key finding of the report showed that 83 percent of employers surveyed strongly or somewhat strongly support a mandatory electronic verification system, but 92 percent of employers on average reported they would support a mandatory electronic verification system if it included the following specific features:

  • Eliminated Form I-9
  • Authenticates identity
  • Includes strong, safe harbor
  • Provides brief period to resolve work authorization disputes
  • Avoids allegations of employment-based discrimination
  • Includes photo-matching to authenticate identity

In 2016, among employers who did not participate in E-Verify, 37 percent reported that the primary reason for not participating was the fact that e-Verify does not eliminate the requirement to manually complete the Form I-9. A majority of employers (60 percent) participate in E-Verify because it is mandated by federal or state law. However, more than 50 percent of respondents indicated their organizations encountered challenges with the Form I-9 verification process including 37 percent saying they have encountered issues with retaining the Form I-9 paperwork.

There will continue to be opportunities for the government to improve the Form I-9 process. In fact, the USCIS made required updates to the Form I-9 on January 22, 2017, to make it the form more user-friendly.

Simplifying Employment Verification with Sterling

Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions are an essential part of any organization’s onboarding process. It is crucial to follow the Form I-9 directives to ensure that new hires (both in-house and remote) are eligible to work. Sterling’s I-9 management solution has the tools companies need to manage the entire I-9 from start to finish, including form completion, data migration, validation, audit, remediation and storage. The tool offers real-time validation, speedy turnaround, precise error detection and simple remediation reducing manual Form I-9 processing time by up to 75 percent. Compliance updates are built into the platform so that companies can stay up-to-date with the most current forms. Don’t let Form I-9 mistakes cost your company. Learn tips to remain compliant with Form I-9 requirements in our white paper, Danger in the Details: Form I-9 Mistakes That Can Cost You.

Danger in the Details White Paper

This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.