With so many people out of work because of the fragile economy, companies looking to hire the best and the brightest may be lulled into a false sense of security as they think they have a larger pool of applicants to assess potential candidates. Taking a methodical, cautious approach in hiring the right person will pay big dividends down the road.

Instituting an employee background check that is comprehensive is a must in any organization. You as the Human Resources Hiring Manager must take charge and implement a foolproof system that will not only help hiring the best candidates but minimize the risk of running afoul of Federal, State and Local labor laws.

Employment Verification Requirements and What HR Hiring Managers Should Know

As you are well aware, the tediousness of gathering all the documents needed from the applicant and doing a full I-9 employment verification can appear overwhelming. The list of employment verification requirements are long. Thankfully, not all items are required.

Below are the I-9 documents that are acceptable.

New hires or prospective new hires are required to provide one (1) document from List A.

List A: Establish identity and employment eligibility of the candidate

  1. United States Passport
  2. Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card
  3. Temporary Resident Card
  4. Employment Authorization Document
  5. Foreign Passport with temporary I-551 stamp
  6. (For authorized working aliens) Foreign passport with Form I-94

Either that or one (1) document each from Lists B and C.

List B: Establish identity only

  1. Driver’s license issued by a state or outlying possession
  2. ID card issued by a state or outlying possession
  3. Native American tribal document
  4. (For authorized working Canadian aliens) Canadian driver’s license or ID card with a photograph
  5. School ID card with a photograph
  6. Voter’s registration card
  7. U.S. Military card or draft record
  8. Military dependent’s ID Card

List C: Establish employment eligibility only

  1. Social Security account number card without employment restrictions
  2. Original or certified copy of a birth certificate with an official seal issued by a state or local government agency
  3. Certification of Birth Abroad
  4. US Citizen ID Card
  5. Native American tribal document
  6. (For working aliens) Form I-94 authorizing employment with a specific employer

The employee has three (3) days from the date of employment to produce the required documents or he can be terminated from work. There are cases where background checks have unearthed information years after applicants were hired. If a new hire is non-compliant in helping you on your background check, there is just cause in terminating his employment. However, be careful in doing so.

Outsource Your Work to a Background Check Company

It is important to have a solid hiring policy in place and that your employment verification is uniform for all applicants. You reduce the risk of discrimination lawsuits by treating all authorized workers equally. Never ask for more than required, especially when it comes to non-citizens. There have been discrimination lawsuits filed by the Justice Department against employers who fired employees for non-compliance – it was alleged that the employers required more verification for a non-citizen than a citizen.

Consider a Background Check Company to handle your employment verification. They are experts in what they do and can greatly reduce your exposure to litigation. Hiring a background check company may mean money well-spent. Most of all, it removes one more burden from your back.