Nowadays, it seems like the government is keen on keeping tabs on evolving workplace technology, particularly software that relates to the I-9 process. Software that automatically enables or requests data may inadvertently allow employers to more easily violate anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) 8 USC § 1324b.
The warnings are clear and quite generous: Employers should carefully vet their software systems for all aspects related to employment eligibility verification to ensure well-meaning software vendors do not inadvertently place additional risks onto employers.
The danger with well-meaning functionality in software is that software developers are not necessarily trained to review the software functionality for compliance with U.S. immigration laws. Because employers are essentially “on the hook” for the non-compliance of the software they select and utilize, it’s imperative for employers to truly conduct a thorough evaluation of their I-9 software or any software that integrates an I-9 component.
Before the new I-9 Form becomes finalized, now is actually a good time for employers to consult with experienced legal counsel in evaluating existing or future I-9 software solutions, especially if payroll or other HR systems are incorporated into the I-9 software in light of the recent OSC advisories.