How to Avoid I-9 Non-Compliance

i9 noncompliance

Federal law obligates employers to fill out an I-9 form for each employee, ensuring the new hires are lawfully entitled to hold a job in the U.S. To many employers, the I-9 may appear to be a simple two-page piece of hiring paperwork but its simplicity is illusory.

This form must be handled with utmost precision and individual attention as errors regarding the I-9 non-compliance are very common and can cost you an arm and a leg.

Unlike many other forms on which an error can be easily corrected, the I-9 errors can result in heavy fines and penalties, even if the employer did not hire someone not authorized to work in the country. Not having a properly completed I-9 form can result in fines of up to $2.1k per employee, so making sure it is completed accurately and on time for every new employee has to be your top priority.

I-9 Compliance Measures

1. Respecting deadlines

Accurate and timely completion of the Form I-9 is essential to compliance with federal regulations and failure to do so can result in substantial fines for employers. Taking into consideration that one of the biggest problems can be avoided by being aware of the I-9 deadlines, you need to make sure to act in accordance with them.

Best practices are as follows:

  • You must complete and date Section 1 no later than the first day of employment and no earlier than the acceptance of job offer.
  • According to the infamous three-day rule, you must complete Section 2 of the form three days latest after the employee begins work for pay. In case that the employee works for fewer than three days, you need to verify identification documents on the first day of work for pay.
  • When an employee’s employment authorization document expires, the employer must re-verify the employee’s employment authorization no later than the date the employment authorization expires, and use Section 3 of the Form I-9 for this purpose. Also, when rehiring an employee within 3 years of the initial completion of the I-9, Section 3 may be completed instead of a new I-9.
  • As an employer, you must keep completed I-9s on file for each employee on payroll and must retain (together with retaining) original I-9 Forms for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.

Adhering to these deadlines can help you avoid problems and fines.

2. Missing I-9s

Many non-compliance issues stem from missing forms. Failing to maintain correctly completed I-9 can result in various fines, reduced workforce, negative publicity and criminal liability.

You can avoid missing I-9’s by storing your I-9s in the same place. The easiest way to do this is by automating I-9’s and storing them electronically so you can always easily find them.

3. Clerical Errors

A simple misspelling or a clerical error on an I-9 can cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars during an I-9 inspection. If you think that this can’t happen to you, think again because it is much more common than you may expect.

Federal law applies two central types of errors – technical and substantive violations.

Technical errors, for example, consist of common misspellings, and failing to ensure the document numbers provided in Section 1 correspond to the same document numbers provided in Section 2 or Section 3.

Substantive violations range from employee’s failure to sign in Section 1 to employers’ failure to re-verify on or before the date on which the employee’s current work authorization expired. If the failure is technical, the employer may be granted a 10-day grace period to correct the failure. If the failure is substantive, there is no grace period to make a correction.

Consider adopting the practice to periodically audit and make any necessary corrections to the I-9s. These periodic self-audits and corrections will assist you in demonstrating a good-faith effort to comply with the law in the event of a government audit.

Here are additional tips to help you avoid common clerical mistakes:

  • Check your I-9 forms to guarantee all Sections are complete;
  • Review dates provided prior to filing the Form I-9 to ensure dates were not mixed up;
  • Check the SSN provided in each space to ensure that numbers are the same throughout the document.

4. Incomplete I-9s

The most common I-9 clerical error lays in incomplete I-9s.

Clearly marked corrections of certain errors on the Form I-9 are usually allowed. However, it is prohibited to erase any incorrect information, back-date, or recreate any of the documents. When you make corrections it is very important to cross out wrong information and insert the correct or missing information by using a different color of ink.

Make sure every correction is initialed and dated by the person allowed to make the permitted correction. In addition to this, employers should keep Form I-9 files separately from general employment files in order to protect employees’ confidential information, prevent possible allegations of document abuse, and be able to easily produce I-9s if needed.

5. E-Verify Compliance

E-Verify is an internet-based system that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees and is likely to become mandatory nationwide.

E-Verify works by electronically comparing the information from an employee’s form I-9 with records available to the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to verify the identity and employment eligibility of each newly hired employee.

Contrary to popular belief that E-Verify is the electronic equivalent of form I-9, E-Verify does not replace I-9. The two work together to validate that an employee is authorized to work in the U.S.

You may receive a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) when either the Department of Homeland Security or Social Security Administration identifies something entered on the I-9 as not matching their records.

Even though you cannot always avoid TNCs, there are a few things that you can do as an employer to reduce the chances of receiving them:

  • When completing the Form I-9, always make sure that the information entered by the employee is correct.
  • Check to ensure that the identification documents that they provided for Section 2 have the same information as what was given in Section 1. This will not only prevent avoidable TNCs, it will also prevent potential fines if your organization’s Forms I-9 are audited in the future.
  • Be careful not to make any mistakes in your data entry when copying information from the Form I-9. Always double check the information before submission.
  • If an employee is aware that they have had a change in their information such as their name, citizen/immigration status, or anything else that is relevant, they should make sure that the information has been conveyed to the proper agencies.

The Best Way to Handle I-9 Compliance

You want to prevent common and costly penalties reaching $2,100 per employee?

Replace paper-based forms that require a lot of administrative coordination and are highly prone to errors and violations with Emptech’s cost-effective and cloud-based I-9 platform.

You can create trackable, cloud-based and compliant I-9s in seconds by relying on our cloud-based electronic system that is fully integrated with E-Verify and an official partner with USCIS. Thus, you virtually eliminate criminal and civil liabilities and significantly reduce the inevitable risk of errors.

The electronic platform removes the administrative burden from both you and your employees while assessing, improving and maintaining your I-9 compliance. At the same time, you can enjoy full transparency with round the clock online access to activity tracking and reports.

Ensuring compliance is a complicated, time-consuming and continuous task that involves various non-compliance risks. That is why you’ll have a dedicated team of analysts at your disposal at all times. The electronic solution powered by human subject matter experts is simplest, fastest and most effective path to your peace of mind.

USCIS regulations permit, and even encourage, electronic employment eligibility verification.

Avoid non-compliance risks, save up to 2.1k per employee, and have audits result with positive outcomes with the electronic solution that drives compliance, cost-effectiveness, and allows your HR team to focus on your most valuable resource – your employees.

Call us today at 1-800-518-3874, or reach out via email at info@emptech.com to learn more about implementing the electronic I-9 solution.


WOTC – Paper vs. Paperless Application

WOTC paper vs paperless application

Many employers are not aware of the Worker Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, and that they could be receiving a significant amount of tax credits every year. The WOTC program is voluntary for businesses to take advantage of and its aim is to:

  • promote the hiring of individuals who qualify as a member of a target group, and
  • provide a federal tax credit to employers who hire these individuals.

U.S. employers can potentially earn tax credits up to $9,600 per qualified new employee. The exact tax benefit amount that a business can receive depends on several factors, including how long the new employee was unemployed, the employee’s salary and the number of hours worked in the first year.

The first step is to identify new hires from the credit-eligible groups. For most businesses, identifying these individuals is a labor-intensive task because it requires more work than simply taking the usual hiring steps. Only new-hires are eligible to be submitted for tax credits if they fall within the specified target groups. This doesn’t include current or rehired employees.  

Taking into consideration the strict application deadlines and required paperwork, WOTC administration can be a difficult task for busy staffing professionals to perform.

Once an employer identifies WOTC-eligible workers, it’s time for the paperwork. Required forms must be completed and the filing of those forms is time-sensitive. As with all things tax-related, proper forms and timely filing is critical. Taking into consideration the strict application deadlines and required paperwork, WOTC administration can be a difficult task for busy staffing professionals to perform.

However, WOTC management companies, like Emptech, offer you a paperless solution encompassing everything from electronically tracking candidate eligibility to submitting documentation on an employer’s behalf, thus ensuring that all regulations are met correctly in order to obtain earned credits.

Multi-Point & Lengthy Process

In accordance with the IRS, two initial steps of the WOTC process include completing the key document, IRS Form 8850 by the day the job offer is made and after the individual is hired. Therefore, as an employer, you need to have your employees complete their portion of the IRS 8850 prior to accepting a job offer; while they are still in the application process. Then, you complete your portion of the 8850 after the employee is hired, which means that tracking is very important for any company still screening for WOTC on paper.

The next step involves the Employment and Training Administration’s (ETA) Form 9061 or ETA Form 9062 if the employee has been conditionally certified as belonging to a WOTC target group by a state workforce agency, Vocational Rehabilitation agency, or another participating agency. This means that upon hiring, the employee needs to complete the Individual Characteristics Form, but there are also sections that have to be completed by employers, such as company legal address, FEIN, starting title, starting wage, etc.

The final step is to submit the completed and signed IRS and ETA forms to a state workforce agency. Employers need to take into consideration that each state agency has their own submission methods and if the WOTC documents aren’t filed on time, the application for the tax credit will be denied

On the other hand, if you choose to work with Emptech, this entire process is reduced to only one step only. It entails completing an electronic or web Preliminary Information Request.

Only once our system identifies someone that potentially qualifies for WOTC, Forms 8850 and 9061 are combined into an electronic WOTC Questionnaire, thus removing the need for your applicants to be bothered more than once. When the screening process is completed and there is a candidate identified as tax-credit-eligible, they are moved into the certification process. Your  company only has to get involved only to provide the necessary information. After this, your HR team doesn’t have to worry about a thing – we take over the process again by submitting everything to the state and tracking the status of each application. Finally, upon receiving a certification, we will do the calculations to see how much your company can claim when you submit your corporate taxes.

Compliance

In a paper process environment, there is zero validation of what an applicant inputs. They could miss fields that are critical, complete portions that should not be completed, partially complete fields, and so on. The only way that an employer could get around this is having their hiring team to screen the forms for mistakes, taking up more of their valuable time.

Also, if there are mistakes on the forms, the consequences range from needing to complete or correct the forms to the application receiving a “denied” status from the state agency. At times the employer needs to appeal a denial in hopes of rectifying the compliance issue, which takes up even more of the hiring team’s time.

Furthermore, WOTC deals with applicants or new employees and, as such, no company wants to leave a bad impression on their newly found talent. Given that the process itself is voluntary, anything that can be done to make it seamless is critical to success.

Emptech’s WOTC Questionnaire has built in validation asking your applicant to input critical information that the state agencies need. At the same time, the electronic questionnaire is designed to show only the relevant questions to the applicant and provides more white space with a minimalist look and feel. This promotes compliance and simplicity while producing a progressive image of your company.

Storage, Retention and Tracking

When screening for WOTC and dealing with the Form 8850, as an employer, you need to keep track of the 8850 in the event that someone who completed it is hired. This creates more work and stress for the HR team, as failure to see their process through to completion results in potential loss of revenue for your company.

Today, companies are likely to have multiple systems to handle their HR needs. Some portions of the hiring process may be on paper, while some are completed electronically. Having to navigate and deal with two distinct process leads to further time spent and stress for your HR team.

In some situations, an applicant might not be hired for months after completing the WOTC application, is required to complete the form again. While the form itself is simple, this shows a lack of organization on your company’s part. Also, this point can be critical at times as some of the target groups may be dealing with very sensitive issues for individuals, such as being previously unemployed, receiving social security income, food stamps, or a felon, etc. An applicant might be brave enough to be forthcoming with that information once, but it is questionable whether they would do it again.

On the other hand, Emptech keeps all your WOTC information on a cloud platform. It stores applicant Form 8850, Form 9061, supporting documents, email correspondence, letters for the state agencies, as well as, certifications and denials from the state agencies all in one WOTC Management location. Such effective document management results in increasing accuracy and high protection against any document loss. Our document storage security routines are the highest in the industry. Through AWS-S3, Emptech processes any uploads and attachments via Lambda function to clear documents for any viruses that may be embedded in the document. All documentation are version controlled with a complete history ensuring information is never lost or corrupted.

Therefore, all of the Storage issues mentioned above disappear when you use Emptech as your WOTC solution as it stores, retains and tracks WOTC applications for their full life cycle and through the retention period.

Solution

Your current process does not have to remain as complicated and costly as it is today.  

Use Emptech’s electronic WOTC solution to replace out of date and insecure paper routines that require significant resources both during the onboarding experience, as well as, during the administrative process. The system easily combines the IRS 8850 and ETA 9061 virtually to create a seamless and efficient way for you to manage the WOTC process.

As an employer using electronic WOTC solution, you are able to embed an intuitive and secure web link to easily determine WOTC eligibility. Our dedicated support team perfects pre-screened eligible candidates on your behalf.

Significant advantages your company will experience include web-based mobile optimized any time access, integrated tax credit calculation supported by our integrated payroll feed, algorithmic technology maximizing credit results and the user experience,  technology validation ensures compliance, consolidated credits earned reporting, dedicated WOTC analysts to ensure all credits received and taken.

The best of class technology will surely impress your applicants with a technically savvy process that is seamless at the same time, and leave them with a favorable lasting impression of your company and not a cumbersome WOTC process.

Contact us today at info@emptech.com or via phone: 800-518-3874 to book a demo and learn more about simplifying your internal WOTC workflows.

 


Senator Tim Kaine Proposes Addition of Military Spouses to WOTC Eligibility

military spouses employment act

Within the past year, we have seen changes and additions to The Work Opportunity Tax Credit. There
has been a retroactive extension and the addition of the Long-Term Unemployed to eligible WOTC
recipients. Now, another addition to WOTC is being proposed, a tax credit to employers for hiring
military spouses.

The Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018

The bill is known as The Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018. Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia,
Senator John Boozman (R-AR), and Jon Tester (D-MT) are introducing the bill. The goal is to hire
underemployed and unemployed military spouses. Reports indicate between 12-25% of military spouses
are unemployed, with another 25% of military spouses underemployed.

According to Federal News Radio, Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), decided to propose the bill after a meeting
with military spouses and employers in October. Kain further explained the idea for the bill came from
the notion of “getting an interview and having an employer look at you and say ‘Wow, you’re really
qualified, but boy, you’re probably going to have to move in a year and a half, maybe I should hire
someone who is going to be here longer.”

Flexible Spending Accounts for Childcare

On top of hiring initiatives for military spouses, the bill also pushes to provide access to flexible
spending accounts for childcare. This would provide a pre-tax option to savings similar to what many
large organizations offer in The United States. Lack of funds for childcare or reliable options for
childcare greatly affect the ability for both spouses to remain employed.

The Military Spouse Employment Act will stand behind not only military personnel but also their
families. The bill will add a new level of support for military spouses by encouraging employers to hire
qualified individuals who often get passed up on opportunities due to circumstances out of their control.
The bill will also provide childcare saving options not currently available to military personnel.

Follow our blog for the latest updates on The Military Spouse Employment Act and The Work Opportunity Tax Credit. To learn how Emptech can assist you in screening for WOTC and obtaining all available tax credits, feel free to reach out at info@emptech.com or give us a call at 800-518-3874.


Trump Proposes The UI System Funds Paid Family Leave Program In Every State

paid leave
Photo Credit: Kaiser Family Foundation

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Yesterday, President Donald Trump, through the Office of Management and Budget, released their proposed 2019 budget for the fiscal year 2019 which begins on October 1st.

21% Decrease In DOL Budget

While the Budget proposal does request $9.4 billion for the Department of Labor, it is a 21% decrease of $2.6 million from the 2017 budget-enacted level. Included in the budget proposal is what President Trump had promised as a candidate: a Nationwide Paid Family Leave (PFL) Program.

Paid Leave Program Proposal

Under the plan, the Paid Leave Program would allow paid family leave to new mothers, fathers, and adoptive parents to take time off from work for the purpose of recovering from childbirth and bond with a new child. The FY2019 Budget Proposal states that the Plan would be supported by the Unemployment Insurance system to allow States to establish paid parental leave programs “that is most appropriate for their workforce and economy”.

As written, the language within the FY2019 Budget Proposal suggests that the program will not be federalized but instead, have funds allocated from the $9.4 billion to each State to establish their own paid parental leave programs.

Currently only five states have a paid family leave program ranging from 6 weeks to 16 weeks time off: California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York (began January 1, 2018) the State of Washington (begins January 1, 2020), and the District of Columbia (begins July 1, 2020).

Another 23 states introduced one or more paid family leave proposals into their State legislative sessions within the past 3 years; all failed to gain enough votes to pass due to concerns over how those individual state’s programs would be funded.  

However, given inclusion into the FY2019 Federal Budget language that allocates funds to support state Paid Family Leave Programs, I would expect to see more States offer their own PFL programs within the 2018 legislative sessions.

Please follow this blog to keep up to date or contact Andrew Lopez at a.lopez@emptech.com or (310) 755-0183 direct if you have additional questions.  


Trump Proposes Mandatory E-Verify Today

e-verify-mandatory
Photo Credit: NSBA

Monday, February 12, 2018

Today, President Donald Trump, through the Office of Management and Budget, released their proposed 2019 budget for the fiscal year 2019 which begins October 1st.

E-Verify Mandatory Nationwide

The proposal explains that $23 million will be invested to expand the E-Verify program for mandatory nationwide use. The $23 million is on top of the $208 million being requested for 300 additional ICE Special Agents, support staff and the infrastructure needed to carry out Homeland Security’s mission to ensure that only those with a legal right to work in the United States are employed. Per the proposal, the budget also has language to receive reimbursement of the $208 million from the application fees of those requesting immigration legally into the United States.

Information on the proposed nationwide use of mandatory E-Verify is still coming out of Washington. To keep up to date, follow our blog or contact Andrew Lopez at a.lopez@emptech.com or (310) 755-0183 direct.


Employers, Protect Your Employees from Security Data Breaches Before It’s Too Late

protect employees from security breaches

Have you recently checked how your employees feel about safety of their personal, very sensitive data (or should we say – Personally Identifiable Information) that’s stored across your HR administration and Payroll systems?

If not, here’s friendly advice: it is about time.

The major security breach in 2017 will be long remembered, for it has affected 44% of the US citizens, compromising 145 million (!) social security numbers, over 200,000 credit cards, driver’s license numbers and other personal information.

Here’s what’s really going on: employees nationwide are FURIOUS.

The Infamous Security Breach

After Equifax announced the data breach back in September 2017, the Internet exploded with search queries on how to protect yourself from the breach and its consequences. This question is still trending on Google, and no one is going to forget about this soon.

equifax breach trending

People are enraged. For months they have been unable to find a way to cancel the company’s services, yet – the threats of data abuse are still imposed upon them.

US citizens confronted serious consequences, such as being a victim of identity theft 15 times in less than three months! They have been desperately calling support and requesting that their files be deleted — in vain.

Why are they worried to that extent?

Because the stolen PII is sold on the dark web that is not easily accessible to vast majority of web users, nor user-friendly. The price of a Social Security Number is as low as $1. “Family packages” go around $10 per a “bundle of SSNs”. These are extremely popular because they allow tax fraud.

Terrifying enough yet?

Here’s more: hackers can often access PII long before a breach has been exposed to the public. Equifax, for example, announced the breach to the general public on September 7th, while the first unauthorized access occurred July 29th.

Can it get any worse?

Yes, it can. The company knew the outdated Java framework called Struts was vulnerable to security standards. Patches to remedy the vulnerabilities were available months before the breach but were not put into place.

How Furious Are Employees?

They are fuming — and they have every right to be. The company has refused to delete their files, even though their disregards for security put them in harm’s way. Now, those affected are addressing the media. Not only are employees restricted from deciding who has the right to access their PII — they were also informed that trying to prevent data inputs will result in serious consequences. NY Times’ journalist, Rob Lieber, writes about employees’ endeavors and the emails he has received since Equifax revealed the breach:

“Peter Herman, a self-described recovering attorney in Charleston, S.C., had a typical experience: a long wait, a number of prompts, a disconnection and a firm “no” on deleting his file. Then came an odd warning from the live human being he did reach. Any attempt to get his lenders to stop sending payment information to Equifax, Mr. Herman said he had been told, might result in his credit score being ruined because his payments would be marked late.”

How Employees Really Feel

Beyond rage, employees feel let down, powerless, and afraid. They do not want to be seen as a mere number in a system, but as a valued employee with the right to data security. Employees worry about their safety day in day out, desperately seeking a resolution to this injustice.

You, as an employer, have the power to give your employees a sense of protection, by advocating for their digital security.

To test the idea of an individual employee trying to resolve this issue through their own company rather than through direct source of breach, Ron Lieber of NY Times, asked his employer — the NY Times — “to cancel its contract with Equifax for a service called Work Number, which provides employment verification and other details like work history and salary.”* After considering the idea, his employer decided to accept his request.

*To get the broader image of that event, and what it means for millions of unhappy employees around the country, read Roy’s full article here.

This Affects Your Company, Too

Your employees may be thinking and feeling the same. They may be scared to bring up their feelings due to negative consequences they could face afterwards. Your employees are under a lot of stress, and now more than ever they need to be reassured their company cares about employee security.

If your employees feel that their safety and security is not put first, they will perform less productively or work less efficiently in teams. Ensure your employees feel safe and protected. Find a vendor focused on your employees’ data security, so they can focus on their job at hand.

What Can You Do?

Communicate with Your Employees

Proper, honest, and direct communication is the best way to avoid a problematic situation. No matter how busy you are, find time to meet with your employees and openly discuss the current state and possible solutions. Do your best to understand their points of view, and take their requests into consideration.

Conduct A Survey

If bringing the entire company around the table is next to impossible, and you can’t manage to organize team meetings, invest some time into creating a survey. Send all your employees a personal email to let them know you are on their side, reassure them that you have their best interest in mind, and ask them to fill out the survey to help you understand their needs.

Explain How Your Security Systems Work

Comfort words are nice, but they don’t solve any problems. After the exposure, employees need proofs that their information is truly protected in order to finally feel relieved.

Make an effort to explain to your employees how your security systems work in a nutshell, let them know who, and under which circumstances, can access their data, and if they are notified upon such an event.

Look at The Issue from An Employee’s Perspective

Nobody is immune to a breach, whether you are a summer intern or the CEO. Your personal data is all stored in the same place, and lack of security means you are just as susceptible to a data breach. As a decision maker, you can choose a vendor who takes security seriously.

Listen to Your Employees

…and find a solution everyone will benefit from.

Let us spare you the headache of inadvertently exposing your company’s employees to identity theft and financial losses.

Meet Verifyfast: a 100% FREE of charge A VOIE solution that eliminates unwanted entities from obtaining employee information.

You will gain access to a team of experienced professionals that act as your outsourced VOIE department, dedicated to disseminating only the approved data to the approved verifiers.

Verifyfast is not a data reseller, but a direct furnisher of data focused on employee experience and security.

Ease your employees’ minds: the verification of income and employment can happen only after the employee has given permission for the verification. Both you and your employees can review who requested a verification, the type of verification requested, and the time and date of the verification. A verifier must go through several layers of security to ensure they were given permission by the employee to receive the verification.

All your data and applications rest in a closed, secure network with up-to-the-minute intrusion detection using current threat models. This closed environment is audited annually to SOC 1 and SOC 2 standards. All data is encrypted in transit and at rest.

Verifyfast runs constant scans against the most recent database of threats on both network and applications. Any framework vulnerabilities are exposed and addressed immediately. The application model is simple: it does not introduce outside frameworks, reducing our footprint of potential vulnerabilities.

Call us today at 1-800-518-3874, or reach out via email at solutions@verifyfast.com. Let’s make sure security issues never waste your company’s valuable time and resources.

Severe Civil Penalties for Employers in California if Served with An I-9 Notice of Inspection

assembly-bill-i9-update

In California, employers have another penalty to worry about when it comes to immigration related practices, particularly I-9 inspection process.

Signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 5, 2017, and effective January 1, 2018, CA Assembly Bill 450 has several provisions that enforce stricter I-9 inspection process and propose severe fines for non-compliance. Here’s a simplified explanation of how the newly passed bill influences employers.

No Voluntary Consent Without Warrant

An employer cannot provide voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to any nonpublic areas of a place of labor without a warrant.

An employer who violates this provision (Section 7285.1 of the CA Government Code) is subject to a civil penalty of:

o   Two thousand dollars ($2,000) up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) for a first violation

o   Five thousand dollars ($5,000) up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each subsequent violation.

Employees Must Be Notified of Any I-9 Inspections

The Bill also includes several provisions aimed at notifying employees once a Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification has been received.

These provisions were added to the CA Labor Code 90.2 and 1019.2 where the employer must:

Provide a notice to each current employee of any inspections of Form I-9 or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection.

Mandatory Elements of Notice

The posting must contain the following:

o   Be in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee.

o   The name of the immigration agency conducting the I-9 inspection.

o   The date that the employer received notice of the inspection.

o   The nature of the inspection to the extent known

o   A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms for the inspection to be conducted.

o   Upon reasonable request, shall provide an affected employee a copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9.

Severe Civil Penalties Due to Violations

An employer who violates this Section 90.2 of the CA Labor Code is subject to a civil penalty of:

o   Two thousand dollars ($2,000) up to five thousand dollars ($5,000) for a first violation

o   Five thousand dollars ($5,000) up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each subsequent violation.

Safety Measures Against Fineable Offenses

If you think these are not enough of a reason to comply with CA AB 450, the Bill has additional language aimed at prohibiting the employer from reverifying eligibility of employment. The penalty for doing so subjects the employer to a fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Having employees complete paper I-9’s and/or using an electronic solution that is not integrated with eVerify opens up the possibility of fineable offenses.

Protect your budget from clerical errors by turning to our I-9 electronic platform that is fully integrated with eVerify, and powered by human subject matter experts. We ensure I-9 compliance, cost-effectiveness, and 24/7 support for your team.

Feel free to contact me at a.lopez@emptech.com or at (310) 755-0183 to learn more about how we can help you conduct a seamless I-9 verification process.

Full version of CA AB 450 can be found here.


In light of Equifax breach: How to ensure maximum security of sensitive data

Equifax, one of the biggest credit reporting agencies, reported on September 7, 2017 one of the largest data breaches in history which is now impacting half the U.S. population! Equifax reported that criminals “exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.”

The breach includes the compromise of personal information of approximately 143 million individuals, as originally reported; however, as of Oct. 15, CNN reported that there have now been another 2.5 million people breached. The breach includes information including social-security numbers, birthdates, credit card numbers and drivers’ licenses.

Now, as to how much liability Equifax will face, nobody really knows just yet. We do know, however, that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and many state attorney generals have already started proceedings against Equifax. “The FTC typically does not comment on ongoing investigations,” spokesman Peter Kaplan wrote in an email to Reuters. “However, in light of the intense public interest and the potential impact of this matter, I can confirm that FTC staff are investigating the Equifax data breach.” In addition, almost 40 states have joined an investigation into Equifax’s business practices.

Continue reading “In light of Equifax breach: How to ensure maximum security of sensitive data”


Best Practices for Exclusion Sanctions Screenings

Earning an exclusion from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) can spell the end of a career or business in the healthcare industry. Once excluded or sanctioned, an individual or entity is prohibited from receiving payment or reimbursement from any Federal healthcare program, which includes Medicare and Medicaid. The payment prohibition affects the person, anyone who contracts or employs the excluded person, and health providers that service the said person.

If a company is found to be using federal healthcare funds to service or pay an excluded individual, it can face hefty fines and civil monetary penalties. These include $10,000 for each claimed item or service furnished to the individual, up to 3 times the amount claimed for each item or service, and the possibility of also getting excluded. In order to avoid these, it is a must for companies, especially healthcare providers, to regularly and diligently screen their employees, contractors, and subcontractors for exclusions and sanctions.

Continue reading “Best Practices for Exclusion Sanctions Screenings”


How Often Should Employers Screen Excluded Individuals?

Screening for individuals and entities that have been excluded from participating in healthcare programs is a must for any healthcare provider. After all, contracting or employing the services of excluded entities can result in significant monetary penalties, Medicaid payment bans, and the possibility of earning exclusion for the company itself.

Given this situation, it seems like the most favorable approach for healthcare providers would be to conduct sanction screenings as often as possible. This is a fairly easy task for a smaller company, but not for one that has hundreds or thousands of employees. Going through a large number of individuals every month will require a dedicated group of people and can eat up a considerable amount of time and resources.

Continue reading “How Often Should Employers Screen Excluded Individuals?”