Revisions in the I-9 Form
Anyone hired to work for any business in the United States on or after May 7th, 2013, is required to complete the revised I-9 form for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The new I-9 form is nine pages in length and fortunately, a handbook for employers is available. Samples of the new form are in the handbook along with completion instructions.
Employers are responsible for making a physical examination of any and all documents presented to them to confirm identity and the applicant’s right to work in the United States. Many documents that were acceptable for employment and identity verification are no longer acceptable. You are urged to read the handbook for guidance.
As before, the employer must retain the new I-9 form three years from the date of hire or one year beyond the termination date of the employee, whichever is longest.
Make certain your HR department is following the new regulations and is using the new form.
Employee or Independent Contractor?
As a CEO or small business owner it is crucial that every CEO understand the difference between an employee and an independent contractor. The consequences for not recognizing the differences can potentially cost your company money. It is all a question of liability. Employers are responsible for the actions of employees, but generally speaking, are not responsible for the actions of independent contractors.
Here’s how you can determine the difference. There are many facets to the question, but in the simplest of terms, the right of control is the best method of differentiating an employee from a contractor. An employer can instruct an employee regarding the means and manner a specific job is to be accomplished. However, if you only have input with regard to the end results of the work, then the person or persons performing the work are independent contractors.
The difference is subtle, but the consequence can be grave. If your employee does something wrong, the employer can be sued, if an independent contractor does something wrong, only the independent contractor can be sued.
Social Media’s Role in Hiring Practices
There has been a lot of “flap” in the media surrounding hiring and social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Most of the discussion revolves around an employer’s right to request an applicant’s password to his/her social media site as a precondition of employment.
While there is no case law on this, as yet, on the surface it seems an unwarranted invasion of privacy. Others argue that it isn’t substantially different from requiring a criminal background check or a mandatory drug screen.
Labor and employment issues are raised when an employer uses social media to evaluate an applicant. Employers have to be cautious about requesting information that may be seen by the courts as unlawful criteria for judging the applicant.
Until the full legal ramifications of using social media accounts in hiring decisions have been clearly established by the courts, the smart play is to ban bringing anyone’s Facebook or Twitter account into the hiring process.
About The Guest Author: Andrew Cravenho is the CEO of CBAC LLC, an innovative invoice financing exchange. As a serial entrepreneur, Andrew focuses on helping both small and medium sized businesses take control of their cash flow. Prior to CBAC, Andrew founded an annuity financing company relieving tort victims of financial hardship.
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