Although not every business is universally required to use the federal E-Verify program, more than eight hundred thousand companies are currently estimated to use the program and would intimately understand the benefits of having Lookout Services as their E-Verify Designated Agent. There is no shortage of guidelines and regulations that must be followed for a business to be I-9 compliant, and having a resource like Lookout Services can allow for employers to have more confidence in the process, as well as streamline the effort involved.
An Overview of E-Verify
The federal internet-based E-Verify program is an additional resource companies may be required to use to compare an employee’s Form I-9 information and identification against records from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. The confirmation of an employee’s identity in E-Verify can help an employer be more confident about that individual’s eligibility to work in the United States.
At this time, enrollment in E-Verify is voluntary unless a state requires their businesses to participate, it is an order from an official legal ruling, or there is participation in contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.
An increasing number of businesses are choosing to sign up for the E-Verify program for an added boost of confidence in employee work eligibility and federal compliance, but the problem can be learning how to navigate the program and making sure it works for these businesses. For this reason, it is highly recommended businesses have an entity to act as their dedicated E-Verify agent.
The Top 5 Benefits of Having Lookout Services as Your E-Verify Designated Agent
Having an E-Verify designated agent does not mean that all the employee eligibility work will be done for a business, but rather it can guarantee is that there is additional experience and oversight in the following areas:
- Compliance Oversight
- Quality Assurance
- Advocacy and Policy/Procedural Influence
- Audit Support
- Knowledge and Training
A designated agent can be extremely helpful to an employer who is not sure of their way around the Form I-9 or E-Verify, but it can be particularly so to businesses and management who are new to these compliance practices.
Compliance oversight is the act of assuring that Form I-9 and E-Verify related process will comply with requirements and responsibilities set forth in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
By using Lookout Services as your E-Verify designated agent, clients can expect to:
- Use compliant electronic processes and procedures to help initiate E-Verify cases
- Streamline the sharing of data between both the Form I-9 and the E-Verify program
- Store E-Verify’s automated responses in an electronic Form I-9 tool designed to satisfy requirements for historical documentation
One of the biggest sources of frustration for employers and E-Verify users can be quality assurance issues. Without this, a user’s level of confidence in the process may understandably not be as high. But with the help of a designated E-Verify agent, part of the quality assurance package should include:
- Ensuring that automated feeds from the electronic Form I-9 to the E-Verify program are still effectively managed even if an E-Verify outage were to occur. This is due in large part to the fact that the agent will identify the impact of the outage and implement remediation to ensure both the electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify systems are in back in sync with each other.
- Checking for duplicated case submissions to E-Verify which could potentially be the result of E-Verify electronic communication issues between the electronic Form I-9 and government systems.
- Monitoring non-compliant user habits as well as common user errors.
Advocacy and Policy/Procedural Influence
For most employers, advocacy and policy/procedural influence as it relates to E-Verify processes is a never-ending list of checks and to do’s that can be overwhelming in and of themselves, aside from the regular Form I-9 and E-Verify procedures.
A designated E-Verify agent can help facilitate these processes and may be able to assist with additional services in this realm, such as:
- Trend monitoring
- System feedback sharing
- Review of concerns
- Inquiries with E-Verify in the event of particularly unusual situations
- Preparation of responses needed for the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration
- Review of published E-Verify enhancements
- Highlighting and translating the impact of changes to E-Verify web services
- Guidance to clients regarding the best approach for compliance
- Communication of new E-Verify processing enhancements or requirements
The possibility or reality of an audit is something that can cause anxiety for any employer. It does not necessarily mean they have something to hide, but it can mean they know even accidentally missing a single Form I-9 field can be enough to cause a compliance violation.
Employers who work diligently with an E-Verify designated agent will have the added benefit of audit support. Not only will the client have the confidence that mistakes have a higher probability of being caught during compliance oversight and quality assurance efforts, an agent will also support the employer with data collection and help them prepare for external audits as required.
When an audit takes place things may quickly become chaotic and frenzied, but with the help of a Lookout Services designated E-Verify agent, employers should be able to have more peace of mind and trust the preparation process.
Knowledge and Training
The singular component that makes all of the above both possible and successful is the professionalism and knowledge of a designated E-Verify agent. This is essential to streamlining the process and having confidence in the Form I-9 and E-Verify procedures.
The benefits of having Lookout Services as your E-Verify agent includes knowing that they will take their expertise and use it to support the knowledge development of their clients. Agents can help with account set up and provide key training materials for end-users of E-Verify.