Employers Completing Form 1-9 with a New employee can Double-check with E-Verify
As a US employer, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that anyone you choose to employ should be eligible to work in the US according to federal law. You must verify the employment authorization and identity of each person hired after November 6th, 1986. You also have to complete and retain a Form I-9 for every employee.
You must not hire, recruit for a fee, or refer for a fee any person that you know to be unauthorized to work in the country. Penalties for breaching the law can be severe – up to $3,200 for each worker so hired, and up to $1,100 for failure to comply with the requirements of Form I-9. Those penalties are for a first offense and rise to $16,000 for a third offense of hiring an unauthorized worker. If there is a pattern or practice of hiring unauthorized workers you can also be jailed for 6 months, even for a first offense.
Now, we’re assuming that you’re not pro-actively breaking the law, so it’s paramount that you understand Visas and how they work. For example, you might hire someone with a H4 Visa but no EAD; by doing this you would be inadvertently breaking the law and would still get in a lot of trouble. That’s where a professional employee screening agency can help.
Take Every Precaution with New Employees
It follows that as an employer you need to take every possible precaution to protect yourself. This is where the E-Verify service can help. The E-Verify service allows us to check on your behalf information from the US Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records against the information on the Form I-9. Records that are searched include US passport and visa information, immigration and naturalization records, and State-issued drivers’ licences and ID information. In some cases, a photo of the employee may be issued also, which you can check against the employee’s document.
We can normally obtain this information for you immediately, and if everything is in order an Employment Authorization will be issued straight away.
However, if the information does not match, the E-Verify service will produce a TNC – Tentative Non-confirmation result.
While the E-Verify service is not a requirement for most businesses, in some cases it is mandatory. All federal government contractors must verify all employees working on government contracts of more than 120 days duration, and/or contracts in excess of $100,000. In addition, all sub-contracts in excess of $3,000 must-have employees verified if the main contract includes the E-Verify clause.
Even if E-Verify is not a requirement for your business, it makes sense to take every step that you possibly can in order to confirm that your business is compliant with the law.