Starr-Matthews offers I-9 workshop Wednesday
by Matt Shinall
Jun 25, 2013 | 1463 views | 0 0 comments | 94 94 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A requirement of all employers, regardless of size, the I-9 form is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to verify an employee’s eligibility to work. With changes ushered in last month, a free workshop will offer information and resources on accurately completing the I-9 form.

Taking place Wednesday morning at the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, the workshop will be hosted by Starr-Matthews Agency to walk employers through the process and help small businesses avoid the consequences of improperly filing.

“When you hire somebody, they should have a completed I-9 form by the end of the first day at work,” said Starr-Matthews Account Executive Wesley Alexander. “They have just changed the form on May 7 of this year. They’ve kind of gone back and looked at case studies where mistakes were made because there can be fines levied for incorrect I-9 forms — and this is governed by the Department of Homeland Security. So we’re just trying to make sure that employers correctly keep these files.”

The workshop will cover how to record, file and destroy the I-9 form, including which combination of documents are acceptable as verification.

The Department of Homeland Security provides a brief overview of the I-9 form.

“Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States,” states www.uscis.gov. “All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form.

“On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9.”

As a Society for Human Resource Management certified course, the I-9 workshop will count as one credit hour toward HR continuing education requirements, but Alexander urges small business owners without a human resources department to also verse themselves on documentation requirements.

“Any employer, no matter how many employees they have, they are required to keep documentation that their employees are legal to work in the United States and that’s called the I-9 form,” Alexander said. “This is something that if you’re new to HR or some smaller employers, may not even be aware that they are required to keep these forms. Large industry — Shaw, Mohawk — they are very familiar with these because every time you hire someone, you have to fill it out. But your small employers with five or 10 employees may not be familiar with this and we’re just trying to help some people out.

“We’re trying to get seminars on a quarterly basis over a multitude of topics. We’re starting out with sort of an easy, introductory topic, but in the future we can cover worker’s compensation, the Family and Medical Leave Act and health care reform.”

The I-9 workshop is set to take place Wednesday, June 26, at the chamber of commerce, 122 W. Main St., from 9 to 10:30 a.m. with time built in for a question-and-answer session. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested to ensure enough materials and take-home packets are available.

To register, contact Alexander at 706-629-4441 or by email at walexander@starrmatthews.com.