Form I-9 – What Is It and How Do I Complete It?

Federal Law stipulates that employers only hire individuals who can legally work in the United States, either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the required authorization. To act in accordance with the law, all employers must complete and preserve Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of all new employees, citizens and noncitizens, to work in the United States.

Employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. The employee must complete Section 1, which they must confirm to their employment authorization. The employee must also present their employer with suitable documents providing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) the employee presents to determine if the document(s) appear to be authentic and relate to the employee and record the document information in Section 2.

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Top 5 Mistakes That Lead to a Poor Hire

Hiring a new employee comes with the potential of making a myriad of mistakes. Aside from mistakes with potential legal ramifications such as discriminatory hiring practices, there are a number of other mistakes commonly made by employers which can easily be avoided.  Quite possibly the biggest hiring mistake that can be made is hiring the wrong person. There are tremendous costs associated with hiring the wrong candidate: for example, advertising costs, interview costs, background and drug screening costs, training costs, and probably a negative affect on morale for your other employees. Generally it’s less expensive to continue your search for the ideal candidate rather than settling on the wrong one and terminating the bad hire. Continue reading

Drug and Alcohol Testing Rules and How Legalized Marijuana Affects the Workplace

With more and more states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes and/or for recreational purposes, many employers are unsure what they can and cannot do in regards to drug and alcohol testing and substance abuse policies.

There is no federal law that prohibits drug and alcohol testing, nor are there any federal regulations providing specific requirements for drug and alcohol testing for private employers. Some states do have specific requirements, so it’s important for employers to be aware of the rules in place in each state for which they have employees to remain in compliance. Listed below are brief summaries by state of rules relating to drug and alcohol testing and medical or recreational marijuana in the workplace where either have been legalized.  Continue reading

New York City Employers Banned from Asking Applicants About Salary History

Effective October 31, 2017 New York City becomes the next city following the recent trend of prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their salary history.

Employers will no longer be able to legally ask applicants about their pay in former positions held nor can they search any publicly available records or reports to obtain the applicant’s salary history. Continue reading

Employers Must Use New Version of Form I-9

inshistory9Effective January 22, 2017 employers should have started using the new version of Form I-9 (marked 11/14/2016) and should discontinue use of any forms with expiration dates prior to 2017.  The newest version of the form can be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

Employers who fail to use the new version of the form for new hires after January 22, 2017 will be subject to penalties which were recently increased drastically (effective August 1, 2016 the minimum penalty increased from $110 to $216 per violation and the maximum penalty increased from $1,100 to $2,156 per violation).

To avoid these penalties, employers should be using the new version of the form and should also ensure that the forms are filled out completely and correctly.

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Improve Your Interview Procedures and Get Results

Have you ever asked these questions during a job interview?

Q. What do you want to be doing five years from now-Q. How would you handle a situation where an employee needed discipline-Q. What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses-

Big mistake! Questions like these can inspire creative applicants to tell you what they think you want to hear in order to try and impress you.

Another mistake is asking theoretical questions. You’ll get theoretical answers and possibly learn a lot about the prospective employee’s dreams and fantasies. Or you might learn nothing at all.

A better approach is to ask for specifics to elicit responses that tell you what the applicant has done — rather than what he or she intends to do.

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Pre-Employment Screening Services Can Help Prevent Workplace Violence

!The numbers are disturbing enough to keep business owners and managers awake at night: nearly two million American workers report being victims of workplace violence every year.

Two million workers. Those chilling figures come from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Workplace violence ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide, according to OSHA.  To make matters worse, experts say that many cases go unreported.

As a result, businesses need to plan how to prevent workplace violence not only with current workers, but before potentially violent individuals are hired.

OSHA defines workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers, and visitors.”

That’s why it’s important to take preemptive steps to screen out workers who might demonstrate any propensity for dangerous or disruptive acts, so they aren’t hired in the first place.

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