The Department of Homeland Security allows employers to store their I-9s electronically. Legislation was first enacted in 2004 with the regulations finalized on July 21, 2010 so that an employer may now store their I-9s electronically. Everything else is becoming automated, why not jump on the bandwagon and do it for I-9s too?
Abercrombie & Fitch thought this was a great idea. When they were audited, they had 0 unauthorized workers, but were still hit with a fine over $1,000,000 because they had “numerous technology related deficiencies” in their electronic I-9 verification system. Talk about a costly software selection mistake.
Don’t make the same mistake as Abercrombie. If your company wishes to implement an electronic I-9 verification system, you must implement an effective security system that ensures:
- Only the authorized person(s) will have access to the records,
- There is an effective backup system,
- Employees are trained to minimize the risk of accidental or unauthorized deletion or alteration of the records,
- Whenever a record is created or modified the system must create a permanent record that indicates the date and the person who accessed the record and what actions he/she performed, and
- The system will capture an electronic signature and attestation
If the system is properly installed, electronic I-9 verification does provide advantage for employers, especially large companies with multiple offices. The advantages are that one centralized office can control the I-9 and employment verification and the well trained central office can minimize I-9 errors or incomplete I-9s.
For more information on I-9s see our I-9 FAQ for employers