AskLinda HR Consulting Services strives to keep our clients abreast of major changes that may affect their businesses. Some of you may have received an advertisement (cleverly disguised as a fact) that states all Texas employers are now required to begin using E-Verify for all employees. I have to admit, it looks real, but I can assure you that this is NOT the case.
Governor Rick Perry has signed an Executive Order which makes it mandatory for STATE AGENCIES to begin using E-Verify. Private employers still have a choice whether or not to begin using the system.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with E-Verify, it is a free government-based system which informs employers whether or not an individual is permitted to work in the United States. Keeping in mind that E-Verify CAN NEVER be used as a pre-screening tool (you cannot pre-screen eligibility on E-verify or ANY OTHER system) prior to the first day an employee begins working for pay (the day your new employee must complete his or her Form I-9).
Typically, new mandates such as this one generally give way to more audits – and according to the numbers released last year, more fines are levied against your Form I-9 being completed incorrectly rather than the number of undocumented individuals you employ. We have had tremendous success in our auditing, training and correction packages to help you prepare for an I-9 audit should ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) knock on your door with a subpoena.
The new year brings new budgets…it is better to budget for proactive steps than it is to budget for thousands of dollars in fines. I promise you – IT IS MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE to have us come out and help you now than it is to call us after a subpoena has been delivered. This is especially true because of what we witness every day – ICE has been categorically harder on those companies who wait until a subpoena has been issued than for those employers who have received third-party assistance (each form is worth up to $1,100.00 in fines).
There is a lot of bad information out there – I have heard of seminars where employers were told to destroy existing I-9 forms, not to correct existing I-9 forms or that it is okay to simply make new I-9 forms for your employees. ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS INCORRECT.
Please reach out to me at Linda@asklindahr.me or 210.846.4900 so we can meet to discuss your particular situation. Anyone who has attended my webinars or seminars has heard me say that it is my personal goal (which sounds better than “vendetta”) that ICE never receive another dime in fines associated with this form. While we cannot guarantee a zero fine (no one can because ICE has a lot of flexible discretion with their rules), we can guarantee that you will be much better off after we have helped you than if we do not.
For additional information about how AskLinda HR assist you with changes to the E-Verify requirements or other HR services that can help your company maintain compliance, Linda at Linda@asklindahr.me or call me at 210.846.4900.