Tag: compliance

Each I-9 Form Error Can Cost Up To $1,400

Per the Immigration Reform and Control Act, all employers must have their employees complete an I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  It’s also important to send in a W-2 Form or 1099 Form.  All HRI Members can access the I-9 Form in Answers >> Onboarding >> Validate the Right to Work in the U.S.  Employees are required to provide documentation as to their eligibility to work in the U.S.  The documents an employer can accept are on page two of the form.  It is important that you keep completed I-9’s and supporting documentation in a binder separate from personnel files and locked for safe keeping.  Although the act does not require employers to make a copy of the Form I-9 documents, federal officers have commented that they prefer to see a copy of the documents when performing audits.  Having the copies available can go a long way to show that an employer has complied with the act’s verification process in good faith.

Some common offenses are:

  • Failure to properly complete an I-9
  • Knowingly hiring, continuing to employ, or contacting to obtain the services of a person without employment validation
  • Providing or knowingly accepting false social security cards
  • Pattern and practice of I-9 compliance failure

Your Organization can protect itself by:

  • Provide someone to read and/or explain the I-9 Form to applicants/employees who are unable to read or understand the form
  • Remember to have the person who assisted the applicant/employee complete the preparer/translator section of the I-9 Form
  • Require applicants who are citizens and nationals of the U.S. to complete the I-9 Form and present the required documents
  • Don’t accept photocopies of documents; employees/applicants must present original documents

Government Help? A Different Twist!

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationLet’s face it, few small business owners rarely smile when confronted with the acronym OSHA.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conjure up scary thoughts for owners thinking unnecessary regulations and oversight into our businesses.  Various state regulation agencies offer similar ill feelings.

But, any successful enterprise does want a safe and healthy work environment where employees flourish.  There is no debate that the merits of a hard working and dedicated staff outweigh the problems with an organization that is unhappy and working against your goals.

There are many free services and benefits that the government offers small business entrepreneurs to help with organizational effectiveness.

  • OSHA provides free on-site consultations to help small and medium sized businesses identify risks in their workplace and give advice on compliance to OSHA standards.  These consultations are not enforcement visits.  In fact, OSHA consultants will not issue citations or report potential violations to enforcement staff.  Learn more here.
  • If your organization operates within the health care or construction industries, OSHA has developed specific modules and guidance that apply to your workplace.  Visit the Compliance Assistance Quick Start for the construction industry and the health care industry.  OSHA also provides a general industry module, which can be found here.
  • OSHA also provides advice and guidelines for organizations working with Hispanic employees.  Here you can find dictionaries, training opportunities, key OSHA publications in Spanish, and Spanish speaking workplace-safety videos.

We just thought it might be a good idea for you to be aware of the potential valuable insights available to you from organizations such as OSHA.  Explore the OSHA small business page for more ideas that may be helpful to your organization.

Ounce of HR prevention worth pound of legal cure

A quote known to all of us, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” manifests itself daily in routine parts of our lives.  In business, there are clearly times when practicing this “rule” can have enormous impacts on eliminating costs.

This is certainly true in the area of managing HR practices.

Good Human Resource practices simply prevent problems with employees and avoid other costs.  How often could better safety awareness procedures in the plant have prevented an accident or proper firing process eliminated a wrongful termination suit or better hiring practices prevented a hiring mistake or …?

Finding ways to manage HR inexpensively, but effectively, will control costs and create a better work environment.  Not following the changing compliance rules and regulations in HR can also cause issues.  The ounce of cure resolving HR issues often results in unnecessary legal costs.  The current national average for an hour of legal counsel is $284.  And legal costs are on the rise.  71% of US law firms increased rates in the poor economy of 2008 with some reaching $1,200 per hour.

How can better prevention practices in HR eliminate these costs, especially in small to medium size businesses where having an HR practitioner on staff can be a luxury or a single person in charge of the function can’t keep up with changing regulations?  There are means to satisfy this need, and inexpensively.  Check out www.hrinsights.com where for an annual membership fee of $485, a business can have access to up to date forms and an ability to check on best HR practices real time with expert advisors.  Potential legal fees saved are worth the cost of prevention.

More often attributable to Benjamin Franklin, the famous quote is traced back to the early 13th Century.  Henry de Bracton was a famous English jurist and author of De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae (On the Laws and Customs of England).  His influences on law are considerable.