Remote I-9 Pros, Cons, and Solutions
Employers of all sizes often hire employees who work at locations not physically near an administrative office of their company. These employees pose a number of problems as far as the completion of necessary paperwork goes, and proper and timely completion of the form I-9 on a remote basis is one such problem that continues to plague employers.
There are several available solutions for employers, both paper-based and electronic. Paper-centric companies have typically sought out notaries to help in this process, but that method of completion is waning in popularity as notaries become more reluctant to participate in this process. (some states strongly discourage or forbid notaries to act as an I-9 agent in a notarial capacity). Given that situation, paper-based remote solutions become more difficult. While various parties can act as the employer agent, employers need to ensure that they are dealing with a trusted entity, as they’re ultimately responsible for the activities of the agent.
Electronic solutions have become more popular in the past several years, but they too can pose significant problems for employers. Some solutions have proposed a web-camera approach where an employee is asked to inspect documents via video link. This has been deemed unacceptable by ICE, as all inspections of I-9 supporting documentation are supposed to be done first-hand and in a tactile manner. (see I-9 Central, Is This Document Acceptable, Q & A)
Other solutions propose granting temporary log-ins to unknown users in order to complete the on-line I-9. This proposes obvious security risks and the employer is still uncertain as to the qualifications of the agent assisting in the completion of the process.
What employers need and want is a process that involves a uniformly trained, nation-wide network of agents who have access to a secure online system with an accepted set of checks and balances in place to ensure proper completion of the electronic I-9. That system should also be equipped to automatically submit queries to E-Verify where desired or necessary, and have a strong and easily accessible audit trail for employers to closely monitor their processes.
Employers who seek assistance with their remote I-9 processes, and who are looking to simplify and more closely regulate the compliance of those processes should contact Pete Krieshok, at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how Equifax Worforce Solutions Remote I-9 Process can help ease employer’s headaches.
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