A Dispersed Workforce Brings Remote I-9 Challenges – Here Are Some Best Practices
A Growing Dispersed Workforce Brings Expanding Risk
More and more companies are developing a dispersed workforce, creating additional onboarding risks as it relates to Form I-9. Requirements state that all employees be in front of a Section 2 completer, because the employer must physically inspect the documents and complete the attestation under penalty of perjury within three business days of hire. This has led to difficulties in Form I-9 completion, authentication, and accuracy – and, as a result, has exposed many companies to the risk of penalties.
A Designated ‘Section 2’ Completer
USCIS allows for new hires who are not near a company office to fill out the form in front of a designated completer on behalf of the company. This solution is not without its pitfalls as those who are not properly trained to manage Form I-9 can make some common errors (e.g. a completer who signs their own completer network’s name in Section 2 instead of signing on behalf of the hiring company they are representing).
Compliance measures should also be taken when notaries are used as a designated completer. For instance, notaries who attach a stamp or seal, instead of their actual signature to Section 2, are not in compliance. State-to-state regulations, like the kind California implemented in late 2014, also change the game as it requires notaries who are signing Form I-9 to complete additional training.
Dispersed Workforce I-9 Best Practices
A network of trusted agents acting as authorized representatives in key cities is a good start to a remote I-9 compliance strategy. Angela Lockman, vice president of Equifax Workforce Solutions, outlined the I-9 challenges and best practices in a recent HRO Today article. She highlights industry best practices as such:
- Ensure that you have advanced warning of remote new hires in order to meet the three-day rule for Form I-9 and E-Verify (if applicable).
- Screen members of your network (and train if necessary) to ensure they understand how the Form I-9 must be completed when they are acting as your representative.
- Adopt electronic processing of the Form I-9 and E-Verify to improve accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. Electronic management also allows integration with automated onboarding and talent management systems.
- For employers who have automated their Form I-9 completion process, ensure that your designated completers have secure access 24/7 to complete the forms, and that the audit trail, verified signature capture, and storage and retention are secure and compliant.
- Prepare a standard operating procedure (SOP) for completion of the Form I-9 and E-Verify. The SOP should include instructions to both the authorized representative and the new hire. The SOP demonstrates reasonable steps to ensure compliance with immigration laws.
View the full HRO Today article to read Angela’s additional comments on avoiding costly fines with successful completion of Form I-9 for remote employees.
Our I-9 Anywhere is a comprehensive technology solution that streamlines how employers manage the Form I-9 process regardless of where the new hire is located. Flexible Section 2 completion options deliver an efficient solution for employers and new hires. The intuitive user experience guides Section 2 completers to help manage compliance. The advanced mobile functionality with secure document upload protects employee information through a convenient easy-to-follow process.
Learn more about the distributed workforce challenges, best practices, and solutions at the:
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