What do I need to bring on my first day of work for the E-Verify system/I-9 employment eligibility documentation?
Background for I-9 and E-Verify, list of acceptable I-9 documentation, and the I-9/E-Verify procedure at new hire orientation can be found at: orientation.fnal.gov/i-9-information/.
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify draws from the databases of 2 government agencies: the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The goal of E-Verify is to provide participating employers with the means to confirm the identity of employees and to verify the employment eligibility of those employees.
Why does E-Verify affect me?
In June 2008, the President signed an amendment to Executive Order 12989, requiring Federal Contractors to verify the legal employability of all employees hired on or after November 7, 1986, working on Federal contracts. E-Verify is the designated system by which we must perform this verification. Regulations became final on September 9, 2009, and the requirement to use E-Verify was incorporated into our contract with the Department of Energy on January 27, 2010.
What is an I-9?
The I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form is a document whose use by all employers for all employees is mandated by Congress that prohibits the hiring or continued employment of aliens where the employer “knows” that the aliens are unauthorized to work in the United States. From 1986 through May 2009, Fermilab required employees to complete paper Form I-9s at time of hire. Since June 1, 2009, Fermilab has required employees to complete electronic Form I-9s.
How does E-Verify relate to the Form I-9 I completed when I was hired?
Congress has required employers to verify the identity and work authorization of employees since 1986, when it amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to prohibit the hiring or continued employment of aliens where the employer “knows” that the aliens are unauthorized to work in the United States. The means by which this originally was done was the completion of a Form I-9 by the employee and employer, within the first three days of employment. Then, in 1996, Congress established an electronic, internet-based Basic Pilot Program to complement the paper Form I-9 process. The Basic Pilot grew in scope and abilities over roughly 10 years and eventually was renamed E-Verify.
Form I-9s and E-Verify fulfill different purposes. The Form I-9 is a record that the law requires the employer to retain for each employee hired on or after November 7, 1986. E-Verify is an internet-based system that facilitates the comparison of the data on the Form I-9 to the data in various government databases. Fermilab is required by law and by the terms of our contract with the Department of Energy to comply with both the I-9 and the E-Verify process.
What is Fermilab’s I-9 obligation?
The Fermi Research Alliance, LLC (FRA), which manages and operates Fermilab, is required to
- ensure that all new hires complete Section 1 of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form on or before the first day of hire,
- review, by no later than the third day of employment, the original document(s) presented by the employee to confirm identity and work authorization, as permitted by regulations and listed in the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9,
- complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 by no later than the third day of employment, and
- reverify the ongoing employment authorization or identity of employees, as necessary, pursuant to regulation.
Since June 1, 2009, FRA has used an electronic I-9 completion and storage system for these purposes. Fermilab’s electronic I-9 system is accessed at www.perfectcompliance.com.
What is Fermilab’s E-Verify obligation?
- For each new hire, FRA is required to submit certain data to E-Verify within three days of the date of hire in the U.S.
- For employees previously hired by either URA or FRA on or after November 6, 1986, FRA must submit certain data to E-Verify by August 2010.
What data is submitted to E-Verify?
E-Verify requires the following data for submission:
- The employee’s
- First name, middle initial, last name
- Maiden name (for women whose last name has changed due to change in marital status)
- Current U.S. street address (not a U.S. postal address, nor a non-U.S. address)
- Birth date (mm/dd/yyyy)
- Social security number
- Attestation as to citizenship or immigration status
- Electronic signature verifying the data is true and relates to the employee
- Details of the documentation presented by the employee verifying the identity and basis for work authorization, in accordance with the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9
- Name and title of the Fermilab representative who participated in the completion of the Form I-9
- Full legal name and address of the employer
I’ve worked at Fermilab for years. Does this really affect me?
- If you were hired by Universities Research Association, Inc. (URA) before November 6, 1986, then you are not subject to the I-9 or E-Verify obligation.
- If you were hired or rehired by FRA after June 1, 2009, then your data already has been submitted to E-Verify, and an electronic Form I-9 was completed during hire. It therefore is unlikely that we will be contacting you.
- If you were hired or rehired by URA or FRA on or after November 6, 1986, but before June 1, 2009, then Fermilab (1) retains a paper Form I-9 for you and (2) must submit your information to E-Verify. Employees hired during this time frame completed paper Form I-9s. Members of the HR Services Group of the Workforce Development and Resources Section are reviewing all such paper Form I-9s. In many cases, existing I-9 Forms may be used as the basis for the E-Verify submission. In some cases, the paper Form I-9 must be revised or updated. In those instances, an HR Services representative must contact the employee for assistance.
Is E-Verify a one-time process? Or will this need to be done again in future?
E-Verify regulations prohibit a given employer from submitting an employee’s data to E-Verify more than once. Fermilab cannot E-Verify continuing employees again. However, if there is a break in employment at Fermilab that is for three years or more, a new E-Verify submission must be made by FRA within three days of the date of rehire.
In addition, one employer cannot rely on the E-Verification of an individual by another employer. As a result, all individuals newly hired by Fermilab must be submitted to E-Verify despite having been E-Verified by a past employer.
I thought that completing the Form I-9 was supposed to be completed once only? Why do I have to do a new I-9?
There are some situations where an employee will have completed a Form I-9 at hire, but a new I-9 now must be completed. Examples of such situations include: (a) changes in I-9 rules effected by the regulation imposing E-Verify on federal contractors, (b) changes in I-9 law since the original date of completion of the Form I-9, or (c) limitations within the E-Verify system. To prevent any unnecessary inconvenience to our employees, whether a new Form I-9 is needed will be determined only after a careful review of the original Form I-9 by a representative of the HR Services group of the Workforce Development and Resources Section.
Is Fermilab required to provide any notification to employees or applicants regarding the E-Verify process?
Yes, Fermilab must post a notice from the Department of Homeland Security indicating our participation in the E-Verify program. We also must post a related antidiscrimination notice issued by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at the Department of Justice. These notices are posted in the 15th-floor Employment Office area, as well as in the International Services Office where the new hires are assisted in the Form I-9 completion process and E-Verify submission.
Why is it that only employees hired after 1986 have to complete the I-9 Form?
In 1986, Congress reformed U.S. immigration laws. From that time forward, it was established that the purpose of the I-9 form is to document that each employee, both citizens and noncitizens, hired after November 6, 1986, is authorized to work in the United States in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security (OMB No. 1615-0047). I-9 information was not collected in this manner before November 1986.
Why is my assistance required? Why wasn’t the Form I-9 completed correctly in the first place?
Members of the HR Services Group are reviewing all Form I-9s for all affected employees. In many cases, existing I-9 Forms may be used as the basis for the E-Verify submission. In some cases, however, updates or changes to the Form I-9 might be required, such as due to
(a) changes in I-9 rules effected by the regulation imposing E-Verify on federal contractors,
(b) changes in I-9 law since the original date of completion of the Form I-9, or
(c) limitations within the E-Verify system.
In those situations, the HR Services representative will contact the employee to confirm data, obtain new documentation in accordance with the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9, or complete a new, electronic Form I-9.
How do I know whether I have to do something? What am I supposed to do?
Members of the HR Services Group review all Form I-9s for all affected employees. In many cases, existing I-9 Forms may be used as the basis for the E-Verify submission.
If employee assistance is needed, a message will be sent from email@example.com. The message will be titled “Your Assistance is Required in Connection with E-Verify”. The message will contain you login and password for Fermilab’s electronic I-9 system. The message also will contain specific instructions about what is needed — a new Form I-9, correction of data on the existing I-9 form, or merely to see a document. Follow the instructions in the message carefully. If you have questions or concerns, or if the instructions are not clear, please email Everify@fnal.gov.
How do I know if there was a problem when my data is submitted to E-Verify?
The E-Verify system compares the employee’s information against data in both the Social Security Administration and various Department of Homeland Security databases. In many cases, a response from the E-Verify system is generated in three to five seconds. In some cases, a response from E-Verify may take up to several days.
A positive response from E-Verify is a confirmation that the employee’s data matches the data in the SSA and (in the case of non-U.S. citizens) DHS databases. This does not constitute an evaluation about the status of the employee — it merely is an indication that the data was consistent.
A discrepancy between the employee’s data and the data of one or both databases results in a tentative nonconfirmation. Again, this does not constitute an evaluation of the status of the employee — it merely is an indication that the data was inconsistent, which can be the result of many things, including typographical errors within the E-Verify submission or one or more government database. When a TNC occurs, a representative from the HR Services Group will contact you to schedule a meeting to review the TNC. In many cases, the TNC is resolved by a simple telephone call to the SSA or DHS, in which the HR Services representative will participate and assist.
Why does Fermilab need copies of my documents?
During completion of the Form I-9 and E-Verify, each employee must present certain documents that relate to the employee’s identity and eligibility for work authorization in the U.S. Fermilab retains copies of all these documents so that if questions arise during the E-Verify submission or during audit, we can answer those questions without having to further inconvenience our employees. Furthermore, in certain situations, the laws relating to E-Verify actually require Fermilab to retain such copies.
I have employees who do not have computer access at work. How will they be able to assist in the E-verify or I-9 process?
To minimize inconvenience to Fermilab’s employees, representatives of HR Services will visit sites throughout Fermilab with a laptop and portable scanner. Employees lacking computer access may schedule a meeting with a “roving” HR Services representative at that time to provide the data, documentation or complete a new Form I-9.
Alternatively, these employees may schedule a meeting with the International Services Office in Wilson Hall and may upload the data or documentation or complete the Form I-9 with the assistance of a Visa Office staff member. If you have questions or concerns, please email Everify@fnal.gov.
What if my name has changed since the submission of my first I-9?
The new rules that accompany the requirement for federal contractors to E-Verify current employees also requires the completion of a new Form I-9 when the employee has a different name than that listed on the original Form I-9. Members of the HR Services Group review all Form I-9s for all affected employees. We will identify these situations by comparing the data on the Form I-9 to the data in our employment records and will contact the affected employees accordingly.
In these situations, a message will be sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. The message will be titled “Your Assistance is Required in Connection with E-Verify”. The message will contain your login and password for Fermilab’s electronic I-9 system. Once you log into the system, you will be able to complete, online, Section 1 of the Form I-9. Once you electronically sign Section 1, you must indicate the documents that you will use to demonstrate your identity and U.S. work eligibility, in accordance with the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9.
Upon reviewing Section 1, the HR Services representative will contact you to schedule a meeting. During the meeting, you must present the documents that you selected during the completion of Section 1 of the electronic Form I-9. The meeting will take approximately 10 minutes. The HR Services Representative will scan and upload the documents you present during the meeting.
My new employee does not have a Social Security number yet. What happens?
It is not uncommon for a new employee to lack a Social Security number at hire. In these cases, the new employee must complete as much of the electronic Form I-9 as possible and apply for the social security number as soon as possible. Members of the International Services Office can provide guidance about the social security application if this is wanted. When the social security number is issued, the employee should immediately advise the representative who assisted in the initial completion of the electronic Form I-9. he employee must meet with the representative at that time to present appropriate documents to support the Form I-9, as explained in the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9.
I have acquired a green card since I was hired at Fermilab. Does this affect my situation?
Yes. If an employee has become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) after being hired at Fermilab, then we must complete a new Form I-9 for you. In those situations, an HR Services representative will contact the employee to complete a new electronic Form I-9 and to schedule a meeting to review new documentation in accordance with the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9.
I have acquired U.S. citizenship since being hired at Fermilab. Does this affect my situation?
Yes. If an employee has become a U.S. citizen after being hired at Fermilab, then we must complete a new Form I-9 for you. In those situations, an HR Services representative will contact the employee to complete a new electronic Form I-9 and to schedule a meeting to review new documentation in accordance with the document lists on the reverse of the Form I-9.
How is Fermilab complying with the new E-Verify requirement?
There are two requirements with which FRA must comply: (1) the ongoing and largely unchanged requirement that we retain I-9 documentation for all employees hired since November 6, 1986, and (2) the obligation to submit data to E-Verify by August 2010.
FRA has chosen to use a third-party designated agent as the tool by which we comply with both these requirements. This agent stores our I-9 documentation for all employees in a secure electronic format that is safer than paper, and also facilitates the transmission of employee data to the E-Verify system.
The agent is a company called LawLogix. The product we use to perform both these responsibilities is called Guardian. The URL of the online site where employees access Guardian is www.perfectcompliance.com.
Who is Lawlogix?
LawLogix is the industry leader in electronic I-9 completion and storage. It provides Guardian services to more than 240 clients at over 3,000 work sites across the United States. The system has handled more than a half million archival I-9s. LawLogix has more than 700 clients and tens of thousands of licensed users for both its visa case management system as well as the Guardian services. Guardian, specifically, is used by telecommunication companies (such as COX Communications), financial institutions (such as NCO Financial), bio-tech companies (such as Genentech), universities (such as Florida State University), healthcare distribution companies (such as McKesson Corp), and other Fortune 500 companies (such as Affiliated Computer Services), along with leading immigration and employment law firms.
How was Lawlogix / Guardian chosen?
The decision to select our vendor, LawLogix, as the third-party designated agent for our electronic completion and storage of required I-9 documentation and submission of data to E-Verify was made after careful and extensive consideration of a variety of factors, including the reliability of the company, its reputation in the industry, its knowledge of the subject matter, and its ability to ensure that the data transmission and storage was secure. The review of the security of the vendor’s data transmission and storage was managed by the Computer Division and reviewed by the DOE Chicago Safeguards and Security Office. The contracted terms of the services provided by the vendor were reviewed by both Fermilab’s general counsel and the DOE Chicago Office’s legal office.
Why has FRA chosen to store I-9s electronically rather than in paper format?
A properly configured and secure system, like Guardian, will always be more secure than a paper based system as it is a rigidly controlled environment that does not permit unauthorized access to documents. All access is controlled through secure logins and passwords and all information is encrypted “at rest” and in transit. The documentation is secure both from unauthorized access and use, as well as protected from major physical disasters (theft, fire, hurricane and flood, for example). Overall, an electronic system is superior in efficiency, security, data control and accountability to any paper-based system.
What are Lawlogix’s security measures and their security history?
Contractually, LawLogix has a specific affirmative obligation to protect the personally identifying data of its clients’ employees from any and all privacy breaches and/or inappropriate use.
LawLogix understands that the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer information is vital to their business operations and success. It has a multilayered approach to security to ensure there are no vulnerabilities in the system, network, or company. It also constantly monitors and improves the application, systems, and processes to meet the growing security demands and challenges. LawLogix contracts with a leading security service to perform annual tests of its systems to gauge the effectiveness of defenses against hacking attempts using a combination of automated and manual penetration testing, web application testing, network configuration analysis, and a social engineering exercise.
Guardian’s cyberthreat-resistant multiple UNIX server clusters are hosted at a Tier‐1 co-location facility located in seismically neutral, nonflood, nonfire risk zone. This facility is SAS 70 Type II certified. Access to the facility is controlled by biometric authentication, swipe card validation, sign‐in logs, and 24‐hour video monitoring. Redundant storage arrays (using distributed SAN technology) provide protection against data loss in a disaster event and eliminate the need for less reliable storage and safeguarding of “traditional” backup data media. Additionally, all data is mirrored between two co-location facilities in geographically diverse locations. All components reside behind dual redundant firewalls with 24/7 live intrusion monitoring and prevention. There are regular and frequent scans of the network to prevent malicious attacks; state monitoring occurs every 20 seconds, 10 seconds for HA failover, to ensure all systems are running at optimal performance.
All communications between clients and LawLogix servers are encrypted. All personally identifiable Information (e.g., Social Security number, date of birth) is encrypted “at rest”. Guardian’s system components reside behind redundant firewalls with 24/7 live intrusion monitoring and prevention. LawLogix conducts enterprise-level vulnerability scanning and daily penetration testing.
What is my assurance that my information is protected and what recourse do I have if it is not protected?
LawLogix carries a $16 million cyber, general liability, E&O, D&O and employee insurance policy that would compensate individuals for loss should their data be compromised.
What if I do not want to have my data stored in Guardian or submitted to E-Verify through Guardian?
FRA chose LawLogix and Guardian, after significant research, evaluation and review, as the best available means by which to execute our obligations under the law. While we respect concern about the use, storage and transmission of personally identifying information, it is FRA’s opinion that the selected vendor and service represents the best balance between the concern to protect our employees and to execute our legal obligations. The law prohibits employers from continuing to employ individuals who do not comply with the I-9 completion or E-Verification obligations. In the case of employment by FRA, this therefore requires the use of the Guardian system.