Denver, CO (PRWEB) June 26, 2006
While lawmakers struggle with proposed immigration reforms, employers also face significant challenges as they work to assure they are following complex federal employment laws.
In April President Bush unveiled a new plan to control illegal immigration into the U.S., largely consisting of providing incentives to employers to not hire illegal aliens. The plan calls for a more aggressive strategy by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit focused on prosecuting employers found to be in violation of federal employment statutes.
Lisa Taylor, Client Services Manager, with LMC Resources, Denvers largest human resources outsourcing company, said that, new labor regulations now being considered by Congress have the potential of making it even tougher for small businesses who are already struggling not to violate existing labor rules.
The most important step an employer can take to avoid costly fines or prosecution is to strictly follow the I-9 form guidelines, Taylor noted.
The Employment Authorization Form, commonly referred to as the I-9 form, verifies the employees identity and authorization to work in the U.S and must be completed by all newly hired employees, Taylor said.
For many employers, though, following the I-9 form guidelines is not a simple matter. Employees must compete section one of the I-9 form on or before their first day of work. Employers must complete section two of the I-9 form no later than three days from the employees hire date. The United States Department of Justice requires that the employer save the form for a period of three years after hire or one year after termination, whichever comes first. In addition employers are responsible for ensuring that all the information provided on the form is accurate.
Since many of the rising number of aliens utilize fraudulent social security numbers or identification cards, its increasingly challenging for employers to know who they are actually employing, Taylor said. She added that the I-9 should not be used a pre-screening tool for hiring.
The best thing an employer can do is to act in good faith by inspecting the identification cards presented by the employee to see that they fall within the acceptable categories of identification and work authorization according to I-9 regulations, Taylor said.
Failure to follow requirements in the I-9 can result in fines ranging from $ 250 to $ 2200 per illegal alien hired. A history of violations can result in fines of up to $ 11,000 for each illegally employed alien and imprisonment.
In 2005 increased pressure on employers to abide by these statutes resulted in the IEC making 127 convictions, up from 46 the previous year and a forfeiture of $ 15 million in assets by a single employer. In addition, the IEC has requested $ 41.7 million in new funds and 171 more agents for 2007 to increase enforcement abilities.
The number of laws and regulations governing employment practices and policies rose 60% between 1980 and 2000. The increase in labor regulation has caused many businesses to opt to outsource their HR function to firms like LMC Resources. These firms, sometimes referred to as Professional Employment Organizations (PEO), are growing in numbers in Denver and across the nation.
With 30 years of experience in the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) arena, LMC Resources is the largest Colorado-based human resources outsourcing firm. LMC Resources, at http://www.lmcesources.com, is certified by the Employer Services Assurance Corporation (ESAC), a prestigious certification given to less than 5 percent of PEOs nationally.
For more information contact:
The Bawmann Group
erich @ morethanpr.com