Remote Hires and Form I-9 a delicate balancing act of compliance

For many companies remote hires are a part of normal business activity.  Hiring an employee who lives on the other side of the state or other side of the country presents compliance challenges with Form I-9 that need to be address.

DHS’s enforcement unit ICE is increasing the number of audits and fines each year, companies need a system in place to ensure Form I-9 compliance or risk large fines in the event of and Audit.

There are a range of strategies for Form I-9 compliance, from putting the responsibility on the employee, to electronic I-9 systems designed specifically for remote hires.

Choosing the compliance strategy for your business will depend on a few different factors.

First is the experience you want to provide to your employee.  You can simply e-mail your employee the Form I-9 and ask her/him to find a local Notary Public to complete section 2 of the I-9.  Or you may choose to engage the services of a traveling notary services that will meet with your employee and complete section 2, this takes the burden of finding a Notary off the employee and demonstrates a higher level of commitment and dedication on your company’s part as part of the overall on boarding experience.

Second is the accuracy in which the Form I-9 is completed.  Many times I-9’s are completed incorrectly or refused to be complete by a local Notary Public.  Employees have the expectation that all Notaries will be able to complete the From I-9 accurately, but many Notaries do not.  Either the Notary enters in the incorrect information in section 2 or puts a Notary stamp in section 2 or simply does not signed as the authorized representative of the company.

These types of error can be frustrating for the employee and the on boarding staff, resulting in rework and compliance issues.  Using an out side service provider that specializes in Form I-9 compliance is worth considering if there are a high number of Form I-9 that are completed incorrectly using your current strategy.

Third is the price that services providers charge.  Fees can range form $10 to $100 depending on the services that you need and the strategy you want to implement.  Electronic I-9’s can help reduce the number of errors and improve overall compliance and can range from $10 – $20 per I-9.  Notary services that provide I-9 service can rage form $40 – $100 and in some cases even higher.  A local Notary Public will charge about $10 to complete and I-9.

Finally is loss of reputation.  What would happen to your business, your brand should you fail an ICE audit.  For some companies a failed audit could mean a loss of customers and loss of reputation, while other companies would just face a fine and not much else.

If your brand exemplifies, trust and compliance in the market place taking a look at your current I-9 compliance system is a must, and any deficiencies should be improved as soon as possible.

Form I-9 compliance is not just for remote hires it’s for all hires.  Defining your I-9 strategy and evaluating your current system can go along way in ensuring Form I-9 compliance.