Steps Employers Can Take To Prepare For Immigration Reform
The Supreme Court reached a 4-4 split in United States v. Texas which means Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was not extended (DACA+) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) is not in effect. This is not the end of immigration reform and the original DACA is still in effect. Therefore, it is important for employers to continue to have policies and procedures in place to better overcome obstacles with relation to DACA as well as future obstacles. Here are two steps employers can take in ensure your company is prepared.
1. Stay informed about the developing details of immigration reform
Staying informed about immigration reform is especially important because there is a good chance it effects a number of your employees. If you, the employer, can stay informed and let your employees know what is going on you will be creating a more unified and loyal workforce. You will also be showing your employees that you care about a topic that they care greatly about.
In addition to the moral that your knowledge can boost, it’s also good for the company to be informed for their own purposes. There is a chance that millions of individuals will be eligible to work legally in the U.S. on or around the same day. If your company if prepared and informed this can greatly lessen the confusion.
2. Prepare to handle new change identity scenarios (NCIS)
With a legal work status comes NCIS. You don’t want to lose your valued employees over them misrepresenting their name when they were first hired. There are 4 steps in the NCIS protocol. First, evaluate your policies regarding addressing false information on job applications, employee dishonesty and fraud. You want to have a policy that is flexible enough to keep your valued employees. Your policy should be one that allows management to assess the situation on a case-by-case basis. If you are in California, you cannot fire an employee for updating his or her I-9.
Second, prepare and complete a new Form I-9. This should be done in the same manner as you would for a new hire, but make sure you use the employee’s hire date from their original Form I-9. Don’t throw out the old I-9, but instead keep the new I-9 and old I-9 together.
Third, make sure to document the reason for the new identity of your employee. Lastly, make sure you inform your employee that they are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable tax regulations.
Adopting this method and ensuring you have a policy in place that is flexible to your needs makes it so that you can keep your valuable employees once they are eligible to work in the U.S.
Jacob Monty is the Managing Partner at Monty & Ramirez LLP in Houston, Texas.