Businesses, whether large or small, are responsible for managing a massive amount of proprietary and personal information. A huge volume of that data is generated by the human resources (HR) department with hiring-related documents, such as Form I-9 used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) mandates employers take appropriate steps using Form I-9 to avoid hiring undocumented workers. Once proper documentation is established, maintenance of these employment records is key, and having IT storage becomes invaluable. Government inspections with onsite visits and Form I-9 audits can happen with little notice. Companies that do not show compliance have suffered steep monetary fines and penalties including prison terms.
Fines for first violations range between $216 and $2,156 per form while each form can be sited for multiple violations. These penalties can add up because one company was recently charged more than $600,000 for not signing its I-9 forms. While the details contained in Form I-9s are important, so are the records retention methods used to store them.
A reliable Form I-9 electronic storage system must include:
• Controls to ensure the integrity, accuracy and reliability of the electronic generation storage system.
• Controls to detect and prevent the unauthorized or accidental creation of, addition to, alteration of, deletion of or deterioration of an electronically completed stored Form I-9, including the electronic signature, if used.
• Controls to ensure an audit trail so that any alteration or change to the form since its creation is electronically stored and can be accessed by an appropriate government agency inspecting the forms.
• An inspection and quality assurance program that regularly evaluates the electronic generation or storage system and includes periodic checks of electronically stored Form I-9, including the electronic signature, if used.
• A detailed index of all data so that any particular record can be accessed immediately.
• A high degree of legibility and readability when displayed on a video display terminal or reproduced on paper.
Combined with consistent and accurate completion of Form I-9s, a good records retention system will go a long way to help intended compliance with the requirements of IRCA. If you want to enhance your Form I-9 compliance with a better IT storage system, Valeo Networks offers a FREE Network Assessment (a $250 Value) to all companies, which includes a Data Security Analysis. Contact Valeo Networks at 800-584-6844 or via sales@saalexIT.com anytime.