Archive for October, 2012

HIPAA and HITECH: Different, Yet Dependent

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The post below is a guest blog from Lindsey Surratt who serves as  Compliance Officer for CAI’s employee benefits partner, HCW Employee Benefit Services.

Until 2009, most employers had little to worry about complying with the privacy standards of HIPAA, short for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which protects the confidentiality of individuals’ health records. Even if employers contracted as business associates with healthcare providers and other similar entities, they were exempt from following HIPAA regulations because they were not regulated by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, which enforces HIPAA.

But the passage of the HITECH Act three years ago has widened HIPAA data privacy and security requirements to include business associates, such as accounting firms, billing agencies, law firms and other groups and individuals that provide services to the entities covered under HIPAA. HITECH, which stands for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, broadened the coverage area as part of the move to electronic health records, or EHRs, in anticipation of the passage of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation in 2014.

Now, business associates can face the same penalties from the government as employers, healthcare providers, and other covered entities. This includes monetary penalties that are mandatory for violations involving “willful neglect.” Additionally, under the HITECH Act, the Department of Justice (DOJ) may pursue criminal penalties for a violation that rises to the level of criminal activity. If the DOJ declines to act on a HIPAA violation, the Office of Civil Rights may pursue civil penalties for that same violation under HITECH.

Not all access or use of protected health information by a business associate’s employees is considered a breach resulting in penalties under HITECH. For example, any unintentional acquisition, access, or use of protected health information by an employee or individual acting under the authority of a business associate is not a violation of HITECH if it occurred inadvertently or in good faith and within the course and scope of the person’s employment or other professional relationship with the business associate.

Businesses affected by HITECH should assess where their HIPAA compliance efforts stand and consider whether opportunities exist to reduce risks in these areas. They should prepare for the possibility of security breaches and even an audit, while at the same time implementing basic physical safeguards such as locking personnel files.

We are ready to help you identify what steps you need to take to keep protected health information secure, particularly as employers become more involved in the health of their employees and more EHRs are implemented by healthcare providers. In addition to our in-house compliance resources, we can also assist you in determining if there are any external HIPAA compliance tools that might fit your organization’s needs.  If you have further questions about whether your business is affected by HITECH and what steps to take if that is the case, please comment!

Photo credit: iStock

Asperger’s Syndrome in the Workplace

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

The following is a guest post from Michael John Carley, the Executive Director for the Asperger Syndrome Training & Employment Partnership (ASTEP) and the author of “Asperger’s From the Inside-Out.”

1 in 88 are the new rates for autism spectrum prevalence. So if the math holds true (and whether you know it or not), if you’re a large company you already have many people with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) working for you. They may be (a) disclosed, (b) diagnosed but undisclosed, or (c) they may not even know themselves that they have AS. But no matter what, their spectrum-specific challenges may be presenting as issues for managers, if not on the desks of your HR staff.

What to do? Well, there’s a lot you can and will want to do, as many of these folks have remarkable abilities that can help your company grow.  And as more and more young people with AS are earning college degrees, it might soon become a large enough portion of the workforce that is hard to ignore.

What is AS?

Asperger Syndrome is a hidden disability that is part of what is now referred to as the autism spectrum. While no two individuals with AS will ever present as alike, AS is often identified by social awkwardness, difficulties with eye contact, motor skills differences, and an oddly-exhibited use of the spoken word. But I, as an adult with AS, can state that internally it simply feels like a difference in processing thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Luckily, most individuals with AS also have average to above-average IQs and exhibit a remarkable attention to detail, especially if it pertains to a special interest of theirs. Furthermore, they’re loyal and don’t shop their resumes around very much.  If they’re happy where they are, you may have a dedicated employee for life.

Possible strengths include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Good concentration on routines and procedures
  • Memory for facts and figures
  • Logical approach to tasks
  • Honesty
  • The aforementioned loyalty

Possible challenges include:

  • Social interactions
  • Intense focus on limited interests
  • Literal-mindedness
  • Inflexibility
  • Anxiety
  • Troubles with empathy

Now That I Think About It, I Believe My Company Could Have Some Workers with AS. But What Should I Do?

Well, maybe nothing, especially if everything’s working out just fine. But if there are some problematic employees whom you suspect might have AS, there is much that you can do.

First off, you likely do not need to have them disclose, though that is always easier because that allows you to work with the employee rather than around them regarding solutions. And you should never tell someone you suspect they might have AS (as it’s against the law to do so in the workplace). But disclosed or undisclosed, you do need to manage them differently.

Are the new management strategies that difficult to learn? No, as they all mostly revolve around communicating more clearly.

Three Key Concepts: Hidden Curriculum, Executive Functioning, and Sensory Issues

Hidden Curriculum

The Hidden Curriculum is information that you have learned instinctively, but that someone with AS has to be taught. It includes understanding non-verbal behavior, such as tone of voice and body language. Many people also refer to this as the unwritten rules of social interaction. The notion of what is socially appropriate and inappropriate, or the ability to understand what another person might be thinking . . . these lessons often escape the individual with AS. So if you find yourself thinking things like “I shouldn’t have to tell him…,” or “Doesn’t he know that…” then chances are you’re dealing with a Hidden Curriculum issue.

Solutions revolve around being clear, such as:

  • Establishing rules (such as “never comment on the physical appearance of someone else”). Rules are clear for folks like us, and preferred as they require no reading between the lines
  • Writing down what the expectations are of the employee with a given task
  • Limiting your use of idioms, soliloquys or sarcasm (it might go over some of our heads)
  • A very detailed job description

Executive Functioning

These are the mental processes that allow us to put into practice what intelligence we have. These difficulties can be identified through challenges with organization, multi-tasking, time-management, and prioritization and can result in some individuals appearing slow, or even less intelligent than they really are. While many individuals with AS can visibly hyper-focus on a task, others with Executive Functioning challenges can appear the opposite given the same task.

Solutions revolve around being clear, such as:

  • Writing down what the expectations are of the employee with a given task
  • A very detailed job description
  • Flexible work hours
  • Mentoring
  • Going slow when verbally outlining tasks and priorities
  • Encouraging employees to take notes
  • Additionally confirming as an afterword that the employee understands the tasks assigned

 Sensory Issues

People on the autism spectrum frequently navigate at least one atypical issue having to do with the five senses. For some, a sensitivity to certain types of lighting can produces headaches, certain sounds might make others have to cover their ears, and many people—though they might appreciate deep-tissue contact, such as in a hug—truly do not react well to light touch, as in an unexpected tap on the shoulder.

Also, the concept of stimming—involuntary or semi-voluntary body movements, sometimes including the production of noises—can be viewed as sensory issues as stims are usually deployed as a result of environmental factors (the most well-known is the way some more-challenged autistic people flap their hands). Though potentially alarming to those with no experience with this population, stims generally are a healthy way to combat stresses, and are often an expression of pleasure, not anxiety. Furthermore, most college-educated spectrum graduates have long since learned how to cloak these behaviors.

Solutions revolve around simple, atmosphere adjustments, such as:

  • Flexible work hours
  • Lighting adjustments
  • Workspace adjustments such as moving their workspace to a quieter space in the office
  • Working from home (less simple, but a true solution for a dedicated employee with more serious sensory challenges)

With the Hidden Curriculum, Executive Functioning, and Sensory Issues there is the potential for added anxiety as one tries to navigate a social world (yours) that confuses them. Allowing for breaks, so the person can find a quiet room or go for a walk, will truly help to ease the stress caused by emotional, sensory, or executive overload.

Train, Train, Train

Businesses rightly won’t hire or attempt to retain employees with AS if they don’t have the confidence that they can make the relationship work. Trainings—be it for managers, HR staff, or recruiters—is tantamount to a company successfully increasing its cultural competence.

In Summary

If you look back at the solutions for managing and better accommodating those three key areas, you should see the (sometimes repeated) emphasis on clear communication. While perhaps time-consuming for managers, the expense pales in comparison to other accommodations. And what manager wouldn’t become a better manager for his non-AS colleagues if he or she learned to communicate better?

And did I mention that some of us are quite intelligent, honest, and loyal?

Michael John Carley can be reached at mjcarley@asperger-employment.org

Photo Source: Victor1558

POLITICS AT WORK: Employer Dos, Don’ts, and Be Very, Very Carefuls

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

The post below is a guest blog from Robin Shea who serves as Partner for Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP, CAI’s Partner for the 2012 Triad Employment Law Update.

With early voting already under way and only a short time until the real election day (November 6 – don’t forget!), this is a good time to provide some guidance for employers seeking to keep a civil workplace between now and November 7.

(By November 8, we hope that everyone has forgotten this entire ordeal and is back to normal until next year, when the 2016 campaign begins.)

HERE’S THE NOVEMBER 7 RULE: If your candidate won, do not “spike the ball in the end zone” at work. Wait until you get home. If your candidate lost, wish the winner well, or say nothing. Mourn for the demise of our once-great nation when you get home.

DO’s

DO encourage employees to “talk politics” with people they substantially agree with, or people who are still making up their minds and are looking for guidance. Discourage political discussions among employees who have fervently-held opposing views and whose minds are made up.

DO encourage employees to keep their political discussions courteous, respectful, and focused on the issues rather than personalities or candidates’ “EEO” characteristics, such as the President’s race or Governor Romney’s religion.

DO (if appropriate for your work environment) prohibit political discussion in the presence of customers, or when employees are expected to be actually getting some work done.

DO consult with applicable state law about voting leave, and comply with it. Please note that in some states you have to post a voting-leave-rights notice in advance of election day. Be sure you have done this if those laws apply to you.

DO be aware that, in a handful of states, it is unlawful for an employer to try to influence an employee’s vote. (The voting-leave chart linked in the prior “DO” includes these laws.) If you operate in one of these states, you should not overtly (with employees) endorse or oppose any candidate, referendum, or other initiative.

DO remind employees of your internet and email policies, and encourage them to be judicious and professional in sending or forwarding political emails or links.

DO feel free to break up employees’ political discussions at work if the atmosphere is becoming contentious or employees appear to be uncomfortable. DO encourage your employees to “self-police” political discussions by leaving, or warning their co-workers when the discussion appears to be heading into hostile territory.

DO feel free to ensure that political discussions do not interfere with getting the job done.

DON’Ts

DON’T have a flat ban on all political talk at work. As most employers know, the First Amendment does not apply to private workplaces, but the National Labor Relations Act could come into play if the discussions implicate “terms and conditions of employment.”

DON’T make, or allow others to make, comments about candidates that may be discriminatory or harassing based on the candidates’ or their supporters’ race, sex, national origin, religion, color, age, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic.

BE VERY, VERY CAREFULs

BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL about political discussions among employees about issues that are especially inflammatory or emotional, such as same-sex marriage, LGBT rights, reproductive rights, and affirmative action. These are legitimate topics for political discussion, but they are also sensitive and carry a high risk of creating hurt feelings or causing hostility.

BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL about sharing your company’s political views, assuming you live in the majority of states where this is legal. Be sure to preface your discussion with a statement to the effect that the decision of how to vote is the employee’s, and the employee’s alone. Then present the company view as “We wanted to share the Company’s position on [CANDIDATE OR ISSUE].” Keep the discussion objective, factual, and focused on issues, not personalities. At the end, remind employees that you are only sharing the company’s view and are not attempting to tell employees how to vote. But be aware that some employees will still view this as “pressure,” and take that into account in making the decision whether to share the company’s views at all.

CAI’s 2012 Triad Employment Law Update, scheduled for November 7 at the Koury Center in Greensboro, will provide additional information on staying compliant with state and federal laws. The conference will also provide material on several legal topics affecting employers, including ADAAA, FLSA Exemption, Immigration and Healthcare Reform. Register today at www.capital.org/triadlaw.

5 Ways to Have a Spooktacular Halloween at Work

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Halloween is less than two weeks away, and because this holiday is so popular, celebrating the fall day at your workplace is a great idea. Few people are offended by scheduling time to celebrate Halloween because the holiday isn’t tied to a specific religion or belief system. Halloween also will allow employees to let out their inner child and have fun instead of worrying about the stress that accompanies adult life. Most importantly, you can set a workplace tradition that almost all employees will enjoy year after year.

Use some of the ideas below to encourage your staff members to have a howlin’ good time this Halloween. Remember to keep participation optional:

  • Decorate your workplace to create a Halloween Wonderland. Add cobwebs to offices and meeting rooms, place pumpkins on tables and window ledges, and put out candy corn for your staff and visitors to enjoy.

 

  • Host a costume contest, and ask employees to make sure their attire is work appropriate. Have staffers anonymously vote for the winner. Prizes can range from a plastic Jack-o-lantern full of candy or a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant.

 

  • Carve pumpkins as a group. While your team works to dig out pumpkin seeds and carve ghoulish faces, they will naturally find themselves chatting and having a good time—strengthening their workplace bonds.

 

  • Treat your staff to a Halloween-themed breakfast. Include several food options that feature fall’s flavors. Some examples include Apple cider, pumpkin flavored coffee, pumpkin bread, apple muffins and turkey biscuits. Make sure you include healthy food options as well.

 

  • Organize a “trick or treat” potluck. Encourage each staff member to bring in a dessert item to share with the rest of their team members. Halloween-themed cookies, pumpkin pie or cupcakes with orange and black frosting are a few sweet treat ideas.

Establishing traditions at your company is a great way to engage your employees and keep workplace morale high. Please call CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 with any questions regarding traditions at work.

Photo Source: Jurvetson

Retirement Planning for the Multi-Generational Workforce

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

The following is a guest post from John McPhail. John serves Bank of Oak Ridge as a Business Relationship Specialist. He has more than 15 years of experience in the financial industry, including direct sales, marketing, and banking. “I guess I kind of learned HR the hard way when I ran my own business, but the experiences were invaluable. If it weren’t for a good HR mentor, I would have ended up a D.O.L. statistic”, said John.

As I sit here reflecting on the 2012 CAI Compensation and Benefit Conference, I can’t help but smile a knowing smile. This smile actually brings to mind a story.

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.

“Which road do I take?” she asked.

“Where do you want to go?” was his response.

“I don’t know,”Alice answered.

“Then,” said the cat, “It doesn’t matter.”

It doesn’t matter…wow…what a tragedy. I submit that it does indeed matter. One might have all the skills and desire, but not be able to harness it or make a decision and act. Is this story about choice or direction? Maybe a little of both. More importantly, I feel, this story illustrates the power of purpose.

Purpose to me is the great “why” of the universe. The “why” of my “Retirement Planning for the Multi-Generational Workforce” presentation was simple. I wanted to engage a thought process that will enable everyone to visualize retirement as an eventuality, not just a possibility. Every employee needs to understand that with discipline, consistent contributions, and proper guidance, retirement can and will come to fruition.

With four generations working side by side, there is a need for specialized retirement planning specifically for your individual situation. Each generation has a unique way of seeing and interacting with the universe. Regardless of their approach, the four generations need different action items and respond differently to environmental changes.

Traditionalists were born between 1900 – 1945 and value saving their income coupled with paying cash for goods and services.

  • They represent 5% of the workforce.
  • Traditionalists perceive retirement as a result of 30 years working to retire and then living off their pension/savings. Their immediate financial needs are to keep what they have accumulated through proper distribution strategies. This has never been more evident than in 2008 when personal investments plunged due to the recession.
  • They need income producing investments with a fixed rate of return. Traditionalists will also benefit from having an actual retirement road map that is orchestrated and tracked by a proven financial professional. Healthcare is an important aspect of retirement to consider. Traditionalists need to understand Social Security planning and Medicare implementation.

Baby Boomers were born between 1946 – 1964 and adhered to the buy now pay later mentality.

  • They represent 45% of the workforce. Their biggest obstacle in retirement is the mentality of, “If I retire, who am I?”
  • Most of Boomers identity is from their career, and retirement can seem counter-intuitive to their sense of well-being and worth. With their “buy now pay later” mentality, they need help with debt resolution first and foremost. If you are a Boomer with a mortgage, you might have to continue to work or work part-time in retirement.
  • Baby Boomers need asset protection strategies as well as distribution strategies that will enable them to enjoy an inflation-adjusted income for life. Equity exposure should be at a minimum and they need income generating investments that don’t experience such volatility. Baby Boomers need a proven financial partner to team up and implement and track their financial plan. Social Security and especially Medicare education is a must for Baby Boomers.

Generation X’s were born between 1965 – 1980 and are the first generation not to do as well as their parents.

  • They represent 40% of the workforce and are conservative and cautious with their money. They also save more than the previous two generations.
  • They believe that since they have saved their money, they might retire early to try different experiences and may even change careers in the end. Generation X’s need a portable retirement plan with target date funds, auto-enroll, and automatic increases available. They need strategies in place to mitigate market volatility and education from a trusted financial partner.
  • Equities can be utilized, but they need to be monitored and coupled with some defensive strategies as well. Generation X’s have a better saving rate and could deal with some fixed investment choices to alleviate worry. A proven financial professional is key in keeping Gen X’s on track and motivated. Not surprisingly, Generation X’s need debt management and they need to avoid seeking the bigger, better deal.

Generation Y’s were born between 1981 – 1999 and value individuality.

  • They represent 10% of the workforce and earn to spend.
  • Their financial needs revolve around a need for consistent contributions to their employer-sponsored retirement plan. Active guidance is key to a Gen Y and they require routine feedback. Their financial needs are much like Generation X’s with a portable retirement plan. They would benefit from target date funds, auto-enroll, automatic increases, and a stable rate of return.
  • They are a bit more skeptical of Wall Street and seek a balance between steady growth and explosive returns in their retirement plan. They require flexibility in their financial plan and need active guidance and a regular report on the status of their account. They are very open to education as a tool for achieving their retirement goals.

My knowing smile in the opening of this article emanates from a belief that everyone, regardless of age, can be fiscally responsible. Don’t blame government or the lack of government. Don’t blame your income. Your attitude towards saving is a choice. You choose whether to be wasteful or frugal. Only you can control your spending and saving. If you can’t save for retirement, you don’t have an earning problem, you have a spending problem.

Find a financial partner, live within your means, have an attitude of gratitude and you will be on the road to financial freedom.

 John McPhail was a speaker at CAI’s 2012 Compensation and Benefits Conference. You can contact him at jmcphail@bankofoakridge.com.

5 Tips to Guarantee a Great New Hire

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Having a successful business has a lot to do with who you hire. Not spending adequate time during the hiring process could have severe consequences on your workplace and its overall productivity. Avoid taking short cuts when reviewing candidates to add to your team. Choosing the wrong candidates can negatively affect your other employees, cost you more money than you expected and waste many of your team members’ time.

Here are five tips to keep in mind when looking for new talent:

Create an Accurate Job Description

Before you start to hunt for suitable candidates, be sure you know what duties and tasks the new hire will be responsible for. Carefully create your job description to clearly explain what the future employee will be doing. Making specific job descriptions will weed out the people who really don’t have the experience or desire to fulfill the position.

Develop Your Recruiting Plans and Goals

Make the recruiting process more efficient by assigning an interview team to prescreen the candidate to ensure he fits the requirements of your job description. This interview team will help you evaluate the interviewees and eventually help you decide who should be offered a job.

Define Your Ideal Candidate for the Job

Know the top traits you want to see in your future employee before you start interviewing candidates. While you’re conducting the interview, listen for the things the candidates say that match your top qualities. Finding people that align with your expectations will help you secure the right person for your open position.

Run a Background Check and Require a Skills Test

Background checks are the best way to guarantee your job candidates are who they say they are and have the experience they say they have. CAI can help your team run its background checks to avoid a bad hire. Contact Kevin von der Lippe at kevin.vonderlippe@capital.org.  Skills test are also important to run to make sure the candidate has the skills and knowledge to excel at the job. Writing, Microsoft Office and personality tests are common skills assessments to ask candidates to complete.

Request Recommendations and Check Them

Getting at least two recommendations that can vouch for your candidate’s past work history is important in reducing the chance of hiring a poor performer. After you conduct your interviews and narrow down your top choices, don’t skip this important step—you will save money and time.

Hiring the right candidate for your open position will positively affect your business performance, boost employee morale and solidify employer-employee relationships. So follow these five tips and stop wasting time, energy and money. For more hiring tips, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Are Policies Created for Your Poor Performers Pushing Your Best Employees Out the Door?

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

When you change or create a policy in your organization is it usually to restrict bad behavior or to reward good behavior?

For employers, as in life, many policies and procedures are created in response to or in fear of somebody violating a rule.  When was the last time you were able to say to your employees, “Great news! We’ve created this policy that we know you are going to love!”

In his book Drive, Daniel Pink addresses this approach, encouraging employers to “Design for the 85 percent.”  He describes how organizations are so focused on preventing the 15 percent of bad apples from causing trouble that they create policies that end up restricting the ability of the 85 percent of honorable employees from doing their best work.  Pink references New York University professor Clay Shirky, who argues that the more we design systems to prevent bad behavior the more bad behavior occurs.

Pink sums up the section in the book by writing:

“If you think people in your organization are predisposed to rip you off, maybe the solution isn’t to build a tighter, more punitive set of rules.  Maybe the answer is to hire new people.”

As more and more employers are focusing on retention, especially of top talent, maybe it’s time for you to review your policies and procedures.

Are they overly restrictive?

Are you making too many rules in response to or in fear of the 15 percent?

Could you implement policies that focus on rewarding good behavior?

Here are areas you may want to pay special attention to:

  • Vacation or PTO
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Education and career development
  • Social media

What policies could you change that would show your best employees that your organization is serious about keeping them on board?

We are excited to have Daniel Pink as one of the keynote speakers at our 2013 HR Management Conference on March 6th and 7th at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, NC.  For additional information, please visit the conference website at www.capital.org/hrconf.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Laughter in the Workplace Increases Productivity and Job Satisfaction

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Including laughter in the workplace can promote a healthy work environment and more productive workers, according to Assistant Professor Chris Robert of the University of Missouri-Columbia. In an interview with Karen E. Klein of Business Week, Robert explains why humor on the job can reduce turnover and increase productivity.

“…humor is one of the things associated with a positive effect, which increases not only productivity, but also the ability to communicate well with the boss, co-workers, and customers. It also enhances the degree to which you feel bonded, cohesive, and part of the group in the workplace,” Robert said.

The findings of his research don’t necessarily mean that all your new hires should be funny or have a good sense of humor. Instead, his research shows that when used correctly, humor and laughter can be effective business tools to interact with employees and customers.

Many studies have shown that laughter increases oxygen helping to boost energy, immunity and alleviate stress. Having a good laugh can also help you burn off calories and retain more information. With the amount of benefits laughter offers, why wouldn’t you include it in the office? You don’t have to be the funniest person or have the most comical management team to encourage laughter among your team members. Just allow them to enjoy themselves while working and interacting with their coworkers and customers.

Here are some appropriate ways you can encourage laughter at your company:

1. Let staff members take breaks after long periods of work. Allow them to visit their social networks or chat with their coworkers during down time.

 

2. Plan an activity at your next staff meeting that allows employees to work together and learn more about each other and their unique learning and communication styles.

 

3. Start an after work exercise club to bond staff members with fitness. Make participation optional and include activities, such as walking, yoga and aerobics.

 

4. Celebrate holidays, anniversaries and birthdays with workplace parties. Decorate your building and provide lunch and activities for your employees to enjoy.

For more ways to bring laughter into the workplace, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Poi Photography

North Carolina E-Verify Law Starts to Impact Employers

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

The E-Verify system is a federal internet-based tool that allows you to determine the eligibility of employees to work in the United States. As of yesterday, Oct 1, 2012, North Carolina companies with 500 or more employees are required by law to start implementing the federal E-Verify system to verify work authorization for all new hires. You must complete online training and sign a Memo of Understanding before you use the system.

Make sure you are familiar with your obligations under the new law. Review the different scenarios below:

You are a federal contractor or subcontractor with the FAR E-Verify clause in your contract

If your company has not yet enrolled in E-Verify, then you have 30 days from the date of contract award to enroll, and 90 days from the date you enroll with E-Verify to initiate verification queries for employees already on your staff who will be working on the contract and to begin using the system to verify newly hired employees. After this 90-day phase-in period, you will be required to initiate verification of each newly hired employee within three business days after their start date. To meet this three-day requirement, employers may initiate verification of a newly hired employee before their start date if the employee has accepted the job offer and filled out the Form I-9.

Please note that pre-screening of job applicants is not allowed; the system may be used for new hires only after the employee has been offered the job and has accepted. Please also remember that you must continue to use E-Verify for the life of the contract for all your new hires, whether or not they are employees assigned to the contract. For more information on the FAR E-Verify clause, go to http://j.mp/ev-fa.

You are not a federal contractor with the FAR clause but want to voluntarily use E-Verify

You must use the federal E-Verify system for all new hires for each hiring site that you choose to use E-Verify. The hiring site is typically where the employee completes the I-9 form. (Note: It may be different from where the form is verified – the verification site.)

However, you can exclude hiring sites if not required by state or federal law to use E-Verify. For more information, go to http://j.mp/11-ev.

You are a North Carolina employer

North Carolina employers will be required to use the federal E-Verify system based on the following schedule: [Note: North Carolina municipalities and counties were required to use it on October 1, 2011.]

  • October 1, 2012 for employers with 500 or more employees (and governmental agencies);
  • January 1, 2013 for employers with 100 to 499 employees; and
  • July 1, 2013 for employers with 25 to 99 employees.

For North Carolina, covered employers are only required to use E-Verify for all employees who work in North Carolina. If you have employees who work in other states but they complete their I-9 paperwork at the North Carolina hiring site, they must be run through E-Verify. If you are hiring sales reps or other employees who will not work in North Carolina, you must consider three things in determining whether you will be required to use E-Verify:

  • Is their hiring site a site in North Carolina for which you are using E-Verify? If yes, they must be run through E-Verify.
  • If not, does the state(s) where they are working require E-Verify and do you meet the criteria? If so, they must be run through E-Verify.
  • If not, is their hiring site a location for which you are already using E-Verify? If so, they must be run through E-Verify.

At a future date, the North Carolina Department of Labor will issue information as a result of hearings on E-Verify to clarify the North Carolina E-Verify requirement. For more information, go to http://j.mp/ev-nc.

None of the above conditions apply to your organization

If none of the above applies to you, check the laws for states where you do business to determine if you are required by state law to use the federal E-Verify system.

If you have questions about E-Verify, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919‑878‑9222 or 336‑668‑7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558