Your job is to verify the documentation. That said, it is your responsibility to look out for the best interests of your organization, so you have a professional, ethical and legal duty to make certain the documents are valid. Otherwise, there could be legal ramifications. But there are ways to do the right thing and protect yourself.
For starters, if you are uncertain about documentation requirements, make sure to visit the Department of Homeland Security’s Web page on I-9 and documentation at this (shortened) link: https://goo.gl/Rsbt6.
It’s a little easier to keep things straight if you remember that you must accept one document from the “A” list OR one each from the “B” and “C” lists. Remember, documents on the “A” list verify both identity and work authorization, while documents on the “B” list establish identity and those on the “C” list establish work authorization.
And although you’re not required by federal law to do so, some businesses and institutions require you to make a copy of the documents you verify. But remember, and this is important, your state might prohibit the copying of a driver’s license, social security card or other identification. Consult your state regulations.
Immigration reform is still up in the air, and there are many uncertainties. If you work with a consultant or outsourcing company, it will handle much of the paperwork for you. If not, you might want to consider using the government’s E-Verify program. Some of the benefits of this “next level” of verification include:
- Increasing the public’s confidence in your organization’s employment practices
- Giving you a tag to display that tells new hires that you’re protected and discourages malfeasance
- Offering you greater legal protection in an increasingly litigious environment, making it less likely your company will be sued for unfairly employing illegal workers
You can learn more about E-Verify at https://goo.gl/QgPfO.