While most U.S. employers know that they are required to be Form I-9 compliant, this requirement goes well beyond corporations and businesses and extends to government and public services as well. Being an agency or public service on a state or local level of government does not absolve these entities from following federal protocol regarding hiring practices.
Enlisting the help of professional experts who intimately understand the pitfalls and complexities of compliance for government and public services agencies has the potential to streamline and facilitate the hiring process in a way that better supports Form I-9 compliance.
Government and Public Services That Could Benefit from Assistance with Form I-9 Compliance
Employers in the United States are required to abide by the mandates set forth by the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. This includes state and local branches of government as well as public services providers.
Some examples of state and local government agencies that must still comply with federal mandates regarding Form I-9 compliance include:
At the state level, government agencies that are also required to abide by the federal government’s Form I-9 compliance mandates can include education agencies, the justice system, emergency management, railroad commission, health and human services, risk management, office of governor, senate, house of representatives, housing and community affairs, and the state Supreme Court.
On a smaller scale is local government agencies that deal with county and municipal issues and feature agencies like county and district courts and the local justice system.
In addition to government agencies, there are many general public service agencies that are also required to be compliant with federal hiring practices, such as the following:
- Education. This public service caters to a wide range of ages including preschool, kindergarten through twelfth grade, and colleges and universities.
- Emergency Services. Examples of individuals who provide emergency services are paramedics, firefighters, and police.
- Healthcare. This public service can cover access to medication, hospitals, and other areas of healthcare.
- Postal Service. This area of public service deals with the sending and delivery of mail and packages.
- Recreation. A community’s pools and public parks are often regulated to ensure proper care and usage of the area.
- Transportation. These entities are involved in maintaining our roads and keeping our highways safe, as well as regulating transportation vehicles such as automobiles, trains, and planes.
Top 3 Compliance Challenges for Government and Public Services Entities
Government and public services agencies typically experience a variety of challenges that can complicate or even delay the onboarding of employees. Some of primary issues for these entities include:
- High Turn Over Rates. Keeping an employee for more than a few years at a time has historically been a struggle. A constant stream of new job applicants that are filling newly vacated positions can equate to an ongoing hiring process that can seem never ending for employers. Due to this time-consuming inconvenience, it is not uncommon for government or public services agencies to need at least one employee dedicated to nothing but overseeing the hiring process.
- Internal Job Shuffle. The internal job shuffle refers to when an individual starts working in one position and may make a lateral move to a different position within the same organization. While this is not a clear-cut case of staff turnover, it can create the need to hire new people for the empty positions left behind, which can add to an already overwhelmed hiring manager’s caseload.
- High Number of Regulations to Follow. Government and public services tend to be highly regulated services. For this reason, the guidelines and deadlines associated with the Form I-9 may be difficult to focus on amidst the many other forms of documentation already required.
How Employment Verification Process Experts and Form I-9 Software Can Help Government and Public Services Agencies
It is not unusual for government and public services agencies to be understaffed due to the challenges of high turn over and the internal job shuffle. This problem is often exacerbated by the fact that the onboarding process for new employees takes time and attention to detail by already overextended employers. However, this is where employment verification professional services can help.
In addition to guiding an employer on how to potentially achieve and maintain compliance with federal hiring mandates, a reputable provider will also offer digital I-9 compliance software to further enhance that process. A few of the coveted features of this type of software include:
- Ease of use. The goal of adopting this type of software is to make onboarding employees a more seamless process. This is facilitated by the program’s ability to be paperless while also minimizing potentially costly human error.
- Identification of mistakes before they become compliance issues. The digital I-9 compliance software is designed to keep errors such as missing signatures, incomplete fields, or blank fields from becoming a compliance issue by alerting employers of their presence before a form is officially submitted.
- Identification document assistance. The Form I-9 specifically lists acceptable identification documents an employee may use. The employer’s responsibility then becomes to review those documents in good faith for authenticity. Many employers find the software program’s examples of how these acceptable documents should look quite helpful in terms of verifying the authenticity of an employee’s documents.
- Time sensitive alerts. Amidst the many responsibilities of a hiring manager, it is not hard to lose track of key deadlines for the Form I-9 that can impact compliance. However, the digital I-9 software provides dashboard or email alerts for approaching deadlines so employers can address them on time.
- Compatibility with E-Verify. If an employer is required to process an employee’s Form I-9 and open a case in E-Verify, it often requires an additional step. Fortunately, this software is designed to auto populate fields so data does not have to be manually entered twice. This helps save time and reduces the incidence of human error.
For more information on how digital I-9 software can be an asset for compliance for government and public services agencies, reach out to a reputable and experienced employment verification expert today.