Remote Employees and Hiring Employees Remotely:
An Increasingly Challenging I-9 Verification Dilemma
We assist U.S. Employers/Employees seeking to comply with Form I-9 employment verification for remote employees and employers hiring employees remotely. Challenges of hiring remote employees have increased as more employers rely on telecommunications to both hire and/or employ employees remotely. The problem spans all industries and occupations, including the health care industries (e.g. home care nurses, physical and occupational therapists, physicians) the sports and entertainment industries (e.g. crew members such as stylists, set designers, carpenters, seamstresses working on multiple television or movie sets and stages, camerapersons and crew working for televised national sporting events or award shows), the hi-tech and consulting industries (e.g. software engineers, programmers), veterinarians, sales and marketing representatives. As mobile notaries covering New York State we can help you deal with the fast-growing, ever-changing nature of the mobile workforce. The M-274 Instructions. An Employer must fill of Form I-9 themselves or “designate someone to fill out Forms I-9 for you, such as a personnel officer, foreman, agent, or anyone else acting on your behalf, such as a notary public.” If someone else fills out Form I-9 on behalf of the employer, he or she must carry out full responsibilities. The designated person must not only physically view the employment authorization and identity documents, but must also sign Section 2. The designated person cannot leave Section 2 for the employer to complete and sign. The employer is still liable for any violations or defects in connection with the form or the verification process. When Buffalo Notary Services acts as your designated individual completing Form I-9 we will do it right and we stand behind our work. The person completing and signing the Form I-9 Section 2 attestation on behalf of the employer must be able to see the person in the flesh and review the original documents (as in look at, touch, and feel the original document or hologram) and believe them to be genuine on their face. Use Buffalo Notary Services to complete your Form I-9 verifications in New York or beyond. An employer may designate any of the above-mentioned individuals (i.e. a personnel officer, foreman, agent or anyone else acting on behalf of the employer) to complete Form I-9 for their remote employees. While there is no requirement to use a Notary Public (“Notary”), there is a perception of trustworthiness that results in many employers choosing to use notaries to complete Form I-9 process for remote employees.
Our workable solutions to the remote-employer/employee challenge depend on your workforce and industry:
- We are your local and national network of “notary public agents” in key cities where a company conducts business;
- We have already vetted and screened potential notaries in the designated locale;
- We use a traveling notaries; or when appropriate use a designated attorney.
Practice Tip: if your organization opts to use a notary as an “agent” to complete Form I-9 employment eligibility verification, it’s important to develop a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) with instructions for the employee to bring to the notary. The SOP, at minimum, should:
- Outline steps for the notary to follow;
- Instruct the employee on what to do (if anything) after the notary has completed their part;
- Instruct the notary to sign any additional business documentation, if necessary. (Some employers ask the notary sign a separate attestation that the person is in front of them; the documents have been reviewed; and the documents reasonably relate to the person and appear to be reasonably genuine.)
We can confirm our work flow to your organizations SOP.