Ruling on the recently-enacted Alabama immigration law House Bill 56 (H.B. 56), Chief Judge Sharon Blackburn of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama has issued a 115 page opinion upholding the order that Alabama employers must confirm the work authorized status of all new workers using the federal E-Verify employment eligibility verification system beginning April 1, 2012 or face penalties for hiring unauthorized aliens. In addition, businesses in Alabama must enroll in E-Verify by January 1, 2012 and attest by sworn affidavit to not knowingly employ, hire, or continue to employ unauthorized aliens to receive government contracts and grants from the State. Continue reading
Designed to increase tax compliance and provide past payroll tax relief to employers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has launched a new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) that will enable employers to resolve past worker classification issues and achieve certainty under the tax law at a low cost by voluntarily reclassifying their workers, according to a news release from the IRS website.
As part of a series of webcasts for the Institute for Human Resources (IHR) Certification Program from HR.com, safe hiring expert Attorney Lester Rosen, CEO of nationwide background check provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present a one hour webinar on the topic of ‘Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification’ on Thursday, August 25, 2011 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET (10:00 AM to 11:00 PT). To register for this webcast, which is free to HR.com members and approved for 1.0 General credits through the HR Certification Institute (HRCI), visit http://www.hr.com/en/webcasts_events/webcasts/upcoming_webcasts/legal-and-effective-reference-checking-and-educati_gpvaargk.html.
To help some frustrated jobseekers succeed in the current job market, one company is offering false job references – complete with job titles, start dates and end dates, and salary – to people seeking employment who are willing to pay a fee plus a monthly subscription. This service that offers phony references from real “Reference Providers” and work histories from “Virtual Companies” is why background checks of job applicants, particularly past employment verifications, have become so vitally important for employers today. Continue reading
While most employers agree knowing the work history of the employees they hire is an essential part of their decision making process, conducting past employment verification and reference checking can often be a very frustrating task since many employers, on advice of legal counsel, have a “no comment” policy that allows only verification of the most basic information such as job titles and the start and end dates and job titles of former employees, according to a ‘Special Report: Obtaining Employment References©.’ Continue reading
Background check expert Lester Rosen, an Attorney at Law and President of nationwide background screening provider Employment Screening Resources (ESR), will present an educational session at the 2011 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Exposition titled ‘Legal and Effective Reference Checking and Education Verification.’ The session will take place on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, follow this link. Continue reading
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will launch a free and voluntary E-Verify Self-Check Service on March 21, 2011 in selected states that allows individuals to check their employment eligibility in the U.S. According to the USCIS E-Verify Self Check Interactive Preview, the E-Verify Self-Check service will be available to individuals currently maintaining residency in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and Virginia, and it is expected that USCIS will expand the E-Verify Self-Check to other states and the service should eventually be available nationwide. Continue reading
Legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would make the use of E-Verify – a free, web-based, government run electronic employment eligibility verification system – “permanent and mandatory” for all employers in the United States and also provide for penalties for businesses employing illegal workers not authorized to be employed in the United States. Continue reading
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is cracking down on employers suspected of hiring illegal workers by requiring approximately 1,000 businesses to allow their employment records to be investigated, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports. Continue reading
By Thomas Ahearn, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) News Editor
A member of the U.S. House of Representatives responding to an editorial in the Washington Post wrote that the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system helps employers check the immigration status of workers and maintain a legal workforce, and also that E-Verify can only be used on new hires and not for screening job applicants.
The January 22 Washington Post editorial, ‘The limits of immigration enforcement,’ focused on one of the world’s largest food processing firms that recently received a federal seal of approval for its hiring practices from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after officials from the agency checked employment records for just about every one of the more than 100,000 workers employed by the company. Although roughly a quarter of a million companies have enrolled in E-Verify – which is described as “a federal program that screens potential new hires for employment eligibility” in the 1/22 editorial – most companies seem reluctant to have existing workforces checked since the U.S. labor force contains an estimated 6 to 7 million undocumented immigrants.
The following response appeared in the Washington Post on January 27, in part to support use of E-Verify but also to remind employers that E-Verify can only be used after a job applicant is hired and should not be used as a method of background screening:
Helping employers check workers’ immigration status
Contrary to the Jan. 22 editorial “The limits of immigration enforcement,” the E-Verify federal program is not used on potential hires, as the editorial stated. It can be used only for newly hired employees. In order to prevent discrimination, the Web-based E-Verify program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security, prohibits employers from using E-Verify to screen potential hires. Rather, E-Verify is a tool to confirm that the information given on an I-9 form, which is required for every new employee, is correct.
As a former small-business owner in the restaurant industry, I found it frustrating that employers were expected to hire legal workers but were given no tools to do so. Since employers cannot be expected to be document experts, when I became a member of Congress I created E-Verify as a way to provide employers a simple, free and easy way to check the information provided on the I-9. Fifteen years later, E-Verify has exceeded expectations through the use of biometric data for non-citizens, is 99.6 percent accurate and continues to improve, expand and evolve.
Ken Calvert, Washington
The writer, a California Republican, is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Recently, a story in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ‘Crackdown on Illegal Workers Grow’ told how ICE had announced that it was cracking down on larger companies that may employ undocumented workers. ICE conducted audits of more than 2,740 companies in the fiscal year 2010, nearly twice as many as the previous fiscal year, and levied a record $7 million in civil fines on businesses employing illegal workers, according to the WSJ.
Because of this, U.S. businesses are getting their employment records, particularly the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (“I-9 form”), in order. Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a background check firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that can help employers virtually eliminate I-9 form errors, improve the accuracy of their reporting, protect jobs for authorized workers, and maintain a legal workforce.
For more information on E-Verify Service from Employment Screening Resources (ESR), visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.
Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco area, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen and is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) . To learn more about Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com or contact Jared Callahan, ESR Director of Client Relations, at 415.898.0044 or jcallahan@ESRcheck.com.