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The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Posted by Colin Kingsbury

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May 30, 2007 3:57:00 AM

Just when you thought recruiting was safe again, along comes a new (potential) compliance mandate that promises to make the OFCCP rules look like child's play. Whatever your feelings on the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act now working its way through the wheels of Congress, the impact on employers could be dramatic.

I started paying close attention to the debate from the sidelines when the issue of increased standards for employer verification of new hires first entered the picture over a year ago. While it's too soon to know the precise shape the final law might take, Elaine Rigoli's ERE article makes the stakes clear:
The pending immigration legislation would do many things, including the hiring of thousands of additional border patrol agents; instituting the new "Z" worker visa; and adopting new deportation provisions. 

Perhaps the most interesting element for the staffing world is Title III, which would create a mandatory employment eligibility verification system to electronically verify the eligibility of every worker in the country. 

Title III touches on document verification requirements; records that must be kept by employers; protections against discrimination; ID theft prevention and privacy protections; information sharing; and other miscellaneous policies.
So, in other words, you'll need to keep complete records, but not too detailed, for long enough, but not too long, and you can't share them with anyone except the people who need them, etc. There, is everybody clear now?

Unlike the OFCCP, this law would cover all employers regardless of size, and if you've ever had a new hire walk away because your background check turned up a "red flag" due to a false match on a name or address, you know how any type of verification process can turn into a Kafkaesque nightmare. On the bright side, at least every employer will be in the same boat!