I’m nearing the conclusion of 2014 Best Construction Blog competition reviews. The last few blogs were nominated just before the deadline by Bob Kruhm, retiring publisher of North Carolina Construction News and South Carolina Construction News. The goal is to complete the reviews to allow several weeks of unbiased voting opportunities before the March 31 voting deadline. You can vote here.
The Safran Law Blog provides succinct, regionally relevant and factually focused information for Carolinas readers. This makes it an invaluable resource for architects, engineers, contractors, suppliers and sub-trades there.
Consider, for example, this Immigration Update posting by Ashley Felton based on a presentation to the Carolina’s Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractor’s Association (CRSMCA) on immigration issues.
I have spent the last few days meeting contractors from North Carolina and South Carolina involved with CRSMCA for their Mid-Winter Expo in Raleigh and have a new appreciation for the industry. I also met a lot of great people!
If you happened to catch the Safran Law Offices “Immigration Update” presentation, you know there was a lot of questions and interaction from the audience. As Brian Schoolman and I promised, here are some clarifications from yesterday’s presentation:
Form I-9: Reverification
Section 3 of the Form I-9 applies to reverification and rehiring of former employees. In terms of reverification, you only have to worry about two types of documents: Employment Authorization Cards and Temporary Visas (e.g. L-1A or H-1B). You no longer have to reverify an expired driver’s license, an expired green card, or an expired U.S. Passport. Just keep in mind that all documents must be unexpired at the time the Form I-9 is filled out.
If an employee initially uses an Employment Authorization Card or a Temporary Visa, you must fill out Section 3 of the Form I-9 filled out at the time of hire. You may also fill out a new Form I-9 and attach it to the initial one in your records. Keep in mind that if an employee changes his or her name at any point in his or her employment, you must also reverify these documents.
To help facilitiate reverification, always make note of the expiration date of Temporary Visas and Employment Authorization cards. Calendar this date and a date 90-days BEFORE the expiration date. The USCIS recommends that employers give the employee at least 90 days notice of an upcoming expiration so as to allow plenty of time to seek a renewal or alternative document.
Form I-9 Rehires
Similarly, if you rehire a former employee, you will also need to fill out Section 3 of their inital Form I-9 if you rehire them within 3-years of the inital hire date. You may also fill out a new Form I-9. If you rehire a former employee outside of the 3-year window, you MUST fill out a new Form I-9. I recommend always filling out a new Form I-9 so that you ensure you are using the most current form and the most current list of acceptable verification documents.
Changes to NC E-Verify: HB 786
Based on a paper written by the UNC School of Government, it appears they have interpreted HB 786 to assert an obligation on contractors and subcontractors contracted with a State, City, or County entity to abide by the NC E-Verify requirements: private employers with 25 or more employees must enroll and use E-Verify for all new hires. This obligation is an important one because if you are contracted with a state, city, or county, and you do NOT abide by the E-Verify law, the contract is rendered VOID. A void contract means you have no right to be paid under the contract or remedy for nonpayment or performance. Needless to say, if you employ 25 or more employees, enroll in E-Verify and use it. If you do not employ 25 or more employees, E-Verify is optional.
The UNC School of Government article can be found here.
For anyone’s reference, the Powerpoint presentation we used (with the updates above) is currently posted on our website.