The New Year is quickly approaching and with it comes healthcare reform and new penalties. By the end of the first quarter of 2014, every person in the U.S. must have appropriate health insurance or face financial consequences.

But acquiring medical coverage is not solely the responsibility of the individual. Employers with 50 or more full-time employees are responsible for offering affordable, minimum coverage policies to all their workers. Employers that fail to do this by January 1, 2015, the new deadline, will face a “fair share” penalty.

According to Internal Revenue Code, a company can be penalized in one of two ways:

(1)    A penalty (a.k.a. “Play or Pay”)

(2)    B penalty (a.k.a. “Play and Pay”)

A recent Sterling Infosystems webinar explored the differences between the two penalties.

Play or Pay = Offer Insurance or Pay the Price

By March 31, 2014, every person in the U.S. must have health coverage. Individuals may seek subsidized coverage on the healthcare exchanges, but most people will be offered insurance options from their employers. If an employer does not offer coverage, the company may be penalized under the A penalty.

To “offer” healthcare options means the employer allows at least 95 percent of employees to participate in health plans. Employees must have the opportunity to accept coverage at least once per year.

In addition, the employer needs to provide medical plans that cover the dependents of employees. A dependent is an employee’s child (stepchild, foster child, adopted child, and so on) who is under the age of 26.

All coverage must be affordable and meet minimum coverage standards. Should the offer of insurance be extended but plans are not affordable and do not meet essential coverage requirements then the employer will receive the B penalty.

Play and Pay = Offer Good Insurance or Pay a Penalty

In the webinar, Melissa Ostrower, an attorney at the law firm Jackson Lewis, said that even if eligible employees are offered minimum essential coverage, a company may still be penalized. All insurance needs to be affordable and plans must meet government standards. 

Ostrower recommends companies evaluate the plans they are prepared to offer with two tests.

  • The affordability test makes sure that personal coverage costs do not exceed more than 9.5 percent of an employee’s household income.
  • The minimum value test ensures the employer’s plan pays for at least 60 percent of covered healthcare costs.

If an employee is offered health insurance that would cost him or her more than 9.5 percent of household income and equate to less than a 60 percent value, he or she may receive subsidized coverage on the healthcare exchanges. Subsequently, this will trigger an annual penalty for the employer.

In the words of Ostrower, “this is a technical and confusing process.” Sterling expects you to have questions about healthcare reform. We also want to connect you with answers.

Your personal and business circumstances are unique. Consider reaching out to professionals who can help you make the best decision and avoid penalties.

 

There are two sides to every coin, but many people consider one side “luckier” than the other. When you spot a coin on the ground, or watch it land in a fountain, or pick it up from the floor of your car, which side do you hope to see facing up? Heads or tails?

 Even though you may not want to see a coin toss decide a verdict, there is an element of the legal system that is comparable to the coin. There are two sides to every case, but in the end, one side may appear “luckier” than the other.

Two Sides of the Same Case

When it comes to random drug testing in the workplace, employers and employees view the relevant policies from different vantage points. For instance, as an employer, you may cling to the protection you feel entitled to as the party responsible for maintaining a safe work environment. At the same time, employees have personal rights to privacy.

 Striking a balance between the two sides is important. Recently, this point was reinforced by the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the Irving Pulp & Paper case.

 Employer Rights and Random Drug Testing

Duncan Marsden is the regional leader of the labour and employment law group at Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) Calgary. In a recent webinar (http://bit.ly/1b69HCN), he took time to dive into the residual effects of this ruling and what it means for employers. He offered insight as to how employers can lawfully approach drug testing policies.

 Marsden’s simple advice begins with this: Ask yourself two questions. Is the workplace dangerous? And is drug testing necessary for every employee?

 He explains that when it comes to random drug testing, reasonable circumstance is important. “Privacy legislation throughout Canada says that you are only able to lawfully obtain information from an individual that is reasonable in the circumstances.” This means it may be acceptable to request a drug or alcohol test from someone operating heavy machinery but it may not be the same for a receptionist.

How Does an Employer Ensure Protection?

The best way for employers to remain protected is to understand the legal implications of random drug testing.

Marsden quotes a key statement from the Irving Pulp & Paper decision regarding the issue of random drug and alcohol testing:

“The invasion of privacy by a random alcohol testing policy… involves bodily intrusion and the surrender of bodily substances. There can be an element of public embarrassment. The scheme effects a loss of liberty and personal autonomy. These are at the heart of the right to privacy.”

The employer and employee approach random drug tests from different sides of the issue. Implementing proper random testing policies can protect both parties. Beginning this process can be as simple as asking a few questions: Are there reasonable circumstances? Is the workplace dangerous? Does my employee work in a safety-sensitive position?

Asking these questions and approaching drug and alcohol testing with caution ensures everyone can receive fair treatment. After all, there is no reason to test your luck.

 

Businesses throughout the U.S. are being thrown curveballs. While some healthcare reform deadlines have been pushed back, others are quickly approaching and employers need to be able to handle what is being thrown at them.

Offering insurance coverage to all full-time employees is something employers must consider. Many companies are calling on corporate lawyers and employer services to help them understand the steps they need to take. Sterling recently asked Melissa Ostrower, an attorney at the law firm Jackson Lewis, how large employers should navigate the new rules.

Ostrower was quick to stress the importance of knowing whether your company qualifies as a so-called “applicable large employer.” This is “especially important for businesses on the cusp of having 50 employees,” she said.

Are you going to be held responsible for offering affordable, minimum coverage healthcare policies to employees? If so, does this change how you will position your business?

What is an Applicable Large Employer?

If you have more than 50 full-time employees, then you will need to offer affordable, minimum coverage insurance plans to your employees. But even if you do not have 50 full-time employees, you may still be considered a large employer. To determine whether the new rules apply to you, you need to know exactly what constitutes a full-time employee and then calculate your roster.

What Constitutes a Full-Time Employee?

There is more to determining the number of full-time employees than what the employee job descriptions say. When defining a company as an applicable large employer, it is important to count how many man-hours are contributed to the company.

This is easy to calculate for employers that have hourly workers. Non-hourly workers are also able to count their hours or use equivalency rules (8 hours = 1 day, 40 hours = 1 week). According to Ostrower, a full-time employee is one who works an average of 30 or more hours per week and 130 hours or more per month.

Counting employee hours also ensures that companies do not designate employees as part-timers as a means of avoiding their responsibilities under healthcare reform.

Do You Have 50 Full-Time Employees?

Ostrower offers an excellent equation to help employers calculate their number of full-time employees. She says she keeps a printed copy of this on her desk and refers to it often.

  1. Count your full-time employees (including seasonal) for each month in 2013.
  2. Count your full-time equivalents (see equation below) for each month in 2013.
    1. Add total hours for employees who are not full-time.
    2. Divide # obtained in substep a. by 120; the result is the number of full-time equivalents you have for that month.
  3. Add numbers from 1 and 2 for each month.
  4. Add the 12 sums together and divide the total by 12; the result is the average number of full-time employees and full-time equivalents.
  5. If the number in step 4 is at least 50, you may be considered a large employer.

Learning whether or not you are a large employer is vital to understanding how to move your business forward in 2014. New rules and regulations may not be what you were expecting, but once you know what they are, you can approach them appropriately and avoid penalties.

 

 

While they have been given a one-year reprieve, large employers in the U.S. still face the challenge of arranging health insurance coverage for their employees beginning January 1, 2015. At that time, companies with more than 50 full-time or “full-time equivalent” (FTE) employees must offer affordable health coverage to their employees or pay a penalty.

This seems restrictive to many employers, especially those that have been in business for some time. Health-care reform not only makes it necessary to offer health insurance, it also implies employers will need to keep track of the number of hours their employees work.

Recently, Melissa Ostrower, an attorney at the law firm Jackson Lewis in New York, shared insights with Sterling Infosystems about how an employer can simplify duteous documentation by using safe harbors.

How Can the Safe Harbor Protect You?

Each company’s employment system is unique. How can its existing operation be protected while new healthcare standards are implemented?

Safe harbors are available to companies that want to expedite the process of evaluating employee hours. They are meant to alleviate the administrative burden that may come with needing to calculate employee work hours. IRS safe harbors allow for employers to use so-called “measurement/stability” periods.

What Are Measurement and Stability Periods?

A measurement period is a set time ranging from 3-12 months that an employer uses to determine if an employee works full-time hours by averaging out the employee’s weekly hours during the period. If the employee works full-time hours in the measurement phase then he or she will be treated as a full-time employee in the “stability” period that follows.

This method is especially convenient when establishing the status of new hires.

Do New Employees Receive Insurance?

A new employee’s job description may state that the position is full-time, part-time or seasonal, but the number of hours he or she works during the measurement period will determine his or her ongoing work status. If the employee is considered a full-time employee after the measurement period, the employer must offer insurance or be penalized. However, the employer would not be penalized if the employee was hired as a part-time worker but worked full-time hours during the measurement phase.

In addition, a 90-day waiting period is permitted when an employee is first hired. This means that the employer will not be penalized for not offering insurance options during that time. It is important to note that this is not a three-month waiting period. It is strictly 90 days or less, should the final day fall on a weekend or holiday.

When Setting Up Employment Management Systems…

Ostrower concluded her talk on safe harbors with final words of advice. “If using safe harbors, careful recordkeeping is essential – not just hours, [but] measurement/stability periods, start dates, termination dates, leave dates, job category, coverage eligibility, coverage offers, enrollments, etc.”

In the end, Ostrower notes the intricacy of safe harbors but says they are available to assist large employers as they create new employee management systems.

She also stresses how confusing this process can be and urges employers to contact credible resources with questions.

 

 

 

 

Technology makes the world seem small. At the same time, it encourages the expansion of hiring efforts. Gone are the days when companies were restricted by geography. Today, U.S.-based multinational corporations conduct business throughout the world and hire from global talent pools.

In a webinar available online, Terry Corley, Director of Global Background Checks for Sterling Infosystems, offers insight into global hiring trends. He says that typical global business scenarios include two types of international employees: occasional and centralized.

  • Occasional hiring occurs when foreign-born persons come to the U.S. for work.
  • Centralized situations take place when U.S. companies establish their presence in foreign countries and hire local nationals to operate facilities around the world.

The webinar discusses how the background check process is handled for foreign-born employees who are hired to work at U.S. companies. It also explores the due diligence required by companies to uphold federal hiring mandates, and shines a light on the significant consequences that exist when international background checks are not properly conducted.

Hiring Foreign-Born Workers

In every employer/employee relationship, a balance needs to exist between background screening and data privacy. While companies protect their interests by conducting background checks, employees have privacy rights that need to be respected. This balance increases in complexity when companies hire people from outside the U.S., as privacy laws in other countries often differ from those in the U.S.

By understanding background check procedures and following rules put forth by data protection authorities, work councils, unions and jurisdictions, it is possible to hire international workers in a way that respects an employee’s privacy and foreign laws, and also demonstrates that the company has done its due diligence.

Doing Due Diligence

Due diligence is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as “reasonable steps taken by a person [or company] to avoid committing an offence.” Laws and regulations that determine what constitutes adequate due diligence vary from country to country, as Terry Corley states. In the U.S., there are federal laws (like the Patriot Act and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) that every company needs to uphold. Background checks are a way to demonstrate due diligence in these matters. Without thorough screenings, a company may violate these laws unknowingly.

 

Consequences of Failure to Screen

A 2013 Benchmarking Report conducted by HireRight[M1]  shows that, of companies operating in foreign territories, 49 percent conduct background screenings to comply with global regulatory requirements. The three most common types of background checks conducted include employment (59 percent), criminal (58 percent) and identity (57 percent).

The accuracy of these screenings is of increasing importance as hiring negligently can result in major consequences including, but not limited to:

  • Criminal prosecution
  • Civil action
  • Enforcement action
  • Data transfer injunction – meaning organizations may be barred from exporting information outside of countries

Failing to screen, and acquiring background checks using non-reliable means, are mistakes that should be avoided at all costs. With the assistance of a global background check service partner, it is possible for businesses to extend global hiring efforts while remaining above board with national laws and foreign legislations.

Sterling Infosystems is available to guide companies with international and local hiring efforts. Explore all that this partner has to offer: http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com.

 

 


 [M1]Link doesn’t work.

Conducting employee background checks is an intricate process for U.S. companies operating within the United States. But the task becomes even more complex when those companies look to hire abroad. Such organizations need to adhere to the screening laws of other countries in addition to their own.

Terry Corley is the Director of Global Background Checks for Sterling Infosystems, a global background check service partner that helps companies ensure safe work environments in the U.S. and abroad. In a recent webinar, Terry posed the question, “What can an organization expect with conducting background screenings outside the country?”

The first step in answering this question is to understand how rights to privacy differ throughout the world.

Screening Laws by Country

In 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 16.1 percent of the U.S. workforce was made up of foreign-born persons (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/forbrn.nr0.htm). While there are no statistics on how many of these 25 million people passed thorough background checks, one can infer that companies are able to overcome compliance hurdles and cultural barriers when hiring in the U.S.

Donald C. Dowling, Jr., International Employment Counsel at the law firm White & Case in New York, cites the many views different countries have regarding access to criminal records in his paper, “Background Checking and Job Applicant Testing Outside the US.”

For instance:

  • It is “flatly illegal” to collect background information in Poland.
  • Spain will not process criminal background information. The country does, however, allow a job applicant to volunteer this information for inspection.
  • By contrast, some government offices within the U.K. willingly conduct criminal records “sweeps” for employers.

In the webinar, meanwhile, Sterling’s Corley names Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong as among the countries that restrict access to criminal information.

With such a sliding scale of accessibility, it is critical that U.S.-based multinational corporations “navigate business rules and exceptions by geographic cases,” says Corley. Business rules that are compliant with the screening laws of other countries need to be in place. Sometimes, the only way to navigate this legal web is to partner with a trusted global background check service provider.

Navigating Restrictions and Prohibitions

To conduct background checks on employees and job applicants, multinational corporations must abide by the restrictions and prohibitions countries have in place. This becomes increasingly difficult when, as is often the case, criminal information is not public record. In addition, much of this data is not stored at the national level, but rather regionally or by municipality. Therefore, compiling one person’s records may require accessing every location where he or she lived, or was possibly arrested.

If these screening laws and restrictions seem overwhelming, know that professionals in this field, like Terry Corley, work with multinational corporations to guide their international pre-hire screenings and employee background checks.

Going overseas to hire and establish local offices is complex; conducting international background screenings doesn’t have to be.

Contact Sterling at http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com/contact.htm.

 

By Pamela Devata, Paul Kehoe & Alnisa Bell

On December 17, 2013, Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with six other senators, introduced a bill, otherwise known as the Equal Employment for All Act, that would amend the Fair Credit Reporting Act (the “FCRA”)  to prohibit employers from using or obtaining consumer reports for prospective and current employees containing any information bearing on the employee’s or applicant’s creditworthiness, credit standing or credit capacity for employment purposes.  Currently, FCRA specifically authorizes employers to do so.  The proposed prohibitions would apply even if the consumer consents or otherwise authorizes the employer to perform the credit check.

Notwithstanding, Sen. Warren’s bill contains two exceptions.  An employer would be able to use or obtain a credit-related consumer report for positions that require a national security clearance or when otherwise required by law. Similar legislation was introduced on July 9, 2009 and re-introduced on January 19, 2011, but was never enacted into law.  Overall, the new legislation would prohibit an employer from running a credit-related background check for its Chief Financial Officer position, for companies that provide financial advice to clients, or for companies whose employees have access to sensitive personal data, including medical data and social security numbers.

The bill’s sponsors contend that credit reports disproportionately affect: (1) people of color in the hiring process; (2) women, who are often financially affected by fallout from divorce and who are more likely to receive subprime mortgage loans than men; and (3) those affected by the foreclosure crisis.  The sponsors claim that a foreclosure can push a credit score down by 250 points and remain on a credit report for seven years.  Accordingly, the sponsors maintain that the bill’s passage is necessary as there is no evidence to suggest a link between an individual’s credit score and his/her work ability.  Further, they claim that credit reports can contain errors as evidenced by the Federal Trade Commission’s study which found that one in five credit reports contain errors.  Moreover, they contend that credit checks can exacerbate a family’s financial circumstances by precluding individuals from otherwise gainful employment.

However, as conceded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s own Chief Psychologist, Dr. Richard Tenowski, at the EEOC’s October 2010 public meeting, there is a lack of information regarding whether using credit background checks has any disparate impact on employees or applicants.  Indeed, the EEOC itself maintains a policy requiring certain employees to be subjected to credit (and criminal) background investigations, hardly positions where national security is at issue.

If you listen to the vociferous voices of the bill’s supporters, one would think that credit checks are performed widely and used for nefarious purposes as a means to screen job applicants.  Far from the truth, a 2012 report by the Society of Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) actually shows that 53% of employers do not conduct credit checks on prospective candidates, which represents a sharp decrease over the years: in 2010, 40% of employers did not perform credit checks, and in 2004, 39% of employers did not.  34% of employers maintain that they perform credit checks on select job applicants, while only 13% conduct credit checks on all job applicants.  Based on the SHRM report, credit checks are not widely conducted.  And when those 34% of employers conduct credit checks, the majority (87%) do so on individuals applying for positions with financial responsibilities; 42% on candidates applying for senior executive positions; and 34% on candidates applying for positions involving highly sensitive employee information.  Undoubtedly, these are not the types of individuals for which the bill’s sponsors likely envisioned needing protection, but they are the ones, according to the SHRM report, most subject to credit checks.

Not surprisingly, The SHRM report also noted that 80% of companies claim they have hired a job applicant whose credit report contained negative information, which SHRM concluded “suggest[s] that negative credit information is not often a barrier to hiring.”  Most employers still identify an employee’s prior work experience, fit for the job, and performance during the interview as more important factors than a favorable credit report.

More importantly, the bill’s sponsors seem to muddle the distinction between a credit report and a credit score.  Credit reports contain such information as an individual’s address(es), employment history, and debt history.  A credit score, however, ranges from 300 to 850, and is provided by the three major credit bureaus.  However, as established by Seyfarth Shaw during the EEOC’s October 2010 meeting, when an employer uses or obtains a credit-related consumer report, credit scores are not provided to the employer.   Additionally, credit reports contain useful information for employers and, according to SHRM, are used by most employers to prevent theft/embezzlement and to reduce liability for negligent hiring suits.

We will continue to monitor the progress of this bill.  While it is too early to predict the likelihood of passage, there are clear indicators that support for this bill is growing.  More than 50 advocacy groups, including the NAACP and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, are supporting this bill.  Being mindful, the push for this legislation is on the heels of a number of employee-centric initiatives, including the EEOC’s guidance seeking to limit the use of criminal background checks, potential guidance applicable to credit background checks, as well as an increasing number of cities and states opting to “ban the box,” effectively removing questions related to an individual’s criminal history on job applications.

 

Link to Original Article: http://www.laborandemploymentlawcounsel.com/2013/12/separating-fact-from-fiction-analyzing-the-equal-employment-for-all-legislation-and-the-use-of-credit-checks-in-employment-decisions/

Not all consent forms are equal. In fact, some signed releases are considered “void” in parts of the world.

For example, when a prospective or current employee signs a standard U.S. consent form for a background check, it does not always clear the employer to access background information from another country. According to Terry Corley, Director of Global Background Checks at Sterling Infosystems, there are three important factors in determining what data can be collected:

  • The country of origin (or anywhere the person has lived or has been arrested)
  • The applicant’s potential role or employee’s job title
  • How the data will be used

With these pieces information taken into account, it may be possible to draft an effective consent form that grants permission to access sensitive data.

The “Take It or Leave It” Conundrum

Every person has privacy rights. One of the ways countries protect this right to privacy is by maintaining laws that prevent companies from collecting information on applicants and employees that could be considered personal (like criminal records). To gain access to these records, companies must present a consent form endorsed by the employee in question.

Unfortunately, a consent form does not guarantee access to information. In “Background Checking and Job Applicant Testing Outside the US,” Donald C. Dowling, Jr., International Employment Counsel at the law firm White & Case in New York, makes it clear that the sense of freedom provided by a consent form is greatly exaggerated. Some countries do not easily accept these forms because they suspect consent may have been given under the guise of “take it or leave it” job offers.

The alternative to consent forms is to have employees collect information themselves and submit records to companies for review. Another way to escape this conundrum is to follow Greece’s lead by allowing applicants to use power of attorney to collect records that are helpful in conducting background screenings.

The Sensitive Data Delay

Even with a consent form, particular jurisdictions may prevent access to sensitive data, or require that information only be distributed after careful consideration. This can delay the background check process. 

In Terry Corley’s experience, this type of international correspondence can take up to three months. To avoid dragging out the hiring process, companies may be able to make “offers of contingency” with employees. These are good until official background checks return clear.

A company’s employees are its assets. Most U.S.-based multinational corporations view background checks as an effective approach to building strong workforces. While conducting international background checks seems complex, it ought to be seen as an investment that can secure large gains. To enter this investment wisely, it is advisable to, as Terry Corley says, “work with a provider to determine what can be done, based on the local employment context, and based on the situation.”

Teaming up with Sterling Infosystems can increase a company’s chances of implementing a successful international background check strategy. Learn more about what a global partnership can do for multinational corporations. Visit the Sterling website: http://www.sterlinginfosystems.com.

 

 

Oftentimes, alcohol and substance abusers are highly functional people. This is one reason they may not recognize their need for help. After all, they show up for work each day and accomplish tasks in a timely manner. Nevertheless, there are potential risks that arise from their behaviours, and these may occur at the employer’s expense.

Companies assume risk in a number of ways, and one very real and largely recognized risk is the employment of people who abuse substances. In the work environment, this may reveal itself through an employee’s slower pace of production, greater number of errors, poor judgment, and increased likelihood of workers’ compensation claims due to accidents.

Nevertheless, until an individual comes forward and asks for help, the employer is responsible for handling the behavioural challenges that come with employing substance abusers.

Companies can enact policies that protect them from liability under these circumstances, including taking steps to create a drug-free workplace (DFPW). The best approach is to make mandatory drug tests part of the hiring process. Companies should also be equipped to maintain a drug-free workplace once employees are on the job.

By being proactive, companies lessen the chance that they will have to pay for an employee’s poor judgement.

The Importance of a Drug-Free Environment

As mentioned above, hiring employees who abuse substances or use recreational drugs increases the amount of risk a company assumes. According to Sterling Infosystems, more than 3 in 4 substance abusers are employed. This means the majority of companies face a high level of risk. So it is vital that they protect their interests by establishing and maintaining a drug-free environment.

Establishing a Drug-Free Environment

A popular approach to establishing a drug-free work environment is to make drug tests a prerequisite of employment. To ensure these tests produce reliable information, they must be conducted by a reputable third party.

Maintaining a Drug-Free Environment

In addition to pre-employment drug testing, it is important that companies develop policies to maintain a drug-free environment going forward, primarily by ensuring that employees remain drug-free. Random testing is one method. In addition, companies should educate employees and raise awareness of the signs and symptoms involved with substance abuse and alcohol misuse.

A safe work environment is a drug-free work environment. Ensuring this type of setting is a high priority among businesses. Due to its many components, establishing and maintaining a drug-free environment can be a full-time job. But securing workplaces is what Sterling Infosystems does best. Companies can trust Sterling to assist with quick and convenient drug testing and ensure a company has complaint DFWP management. With Sterling, companies can get the help they need and help employees stay clean.

All employers that operate in the United States are familiar with the I-9 form. In fact, most employees know how important this document is, too. This is because every employee of every business in the U.S. is legally required to complete this form. As a result, the collection, management and storage of these forms is a big task for large corporations. But an even bigger task is verifying the information provided by employees on the form.

In recent years, electronic completion and processing of I-9’s has been approved. Now, streamlined technology is simplifying this procedure for businesses throughout the U.S.

How to Process the I-9 Form

The I-9 form identifies an individual’s work status. Those who are able to apply for employment include citizens, noncitizen nationals, permanent residents, and lawful aliens permitted to work.

In order for a prospective hire to be considered for a position, he or she needs to offer one or more “documents that establish both identity and employment authorization.” These documents can include a passport, permanent resident card or employment authorization with photograph.

It is the employee’s responsibility to have and present these documents, but it is the employer’s job to make sure the I-9 form is filled out correctly and filed in a way that is easy to access.

The Employer’s Responsibility

People are often surprised to learn that the I-9 form is not submitted directly to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Instead, it is retained by the employer and needs to be accessible should the USCIS choose to audit the organization or request information on an individual. Therefore, companies are wise to secure accurate information from employees and file these documents efficiently.

Technology Simplifies the Process and Increases Accuracy

Before 2005, it was not permissible for I-9 forms to be completed and stored electronically. With this allowance, technology became a key component in simplifying management and storage of these documents. It also led to increased accuracy in background checks.

Sterling Infosystems uses a streamlined process that enables companies to seamlessly collect, manage and store I-9 forms. The technology organizes and formats information in such a way that these documents can be used for background screenings at the time of filing or in the future.

Tapping into the Sterling network also allows companies to verify individual employment statuses. This gives a company peace of mind as to USCIS compliance. After all, having the information on hand is one thing, but knowing it is accurate is another.

Internally processing I-9 forms and verifying information is a big responsibility. Technology not only simplifies the task, but it can bring about additional benefits as well. It saves money and reduces the real estate needed to house physical filing systems, cutting down on the storage space a company requires. In addition, document errors are caught quickly and can be corrected electronically. Above all, technology makes it simple for job candidates to sign documents.

Sterling Infosystems offers advanced technology that accelerates the hiring process and enables employees to get to work quickly.

 

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