Specialized software for I-9 compliance, but not a law department responsibility

A US government agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, requires from employers documents that prove their employees’ eligibility to work in the US. Thousands of companies have been caught employing unauthorized workers, according to InsideCounsel, June 2007 at 40, and the penalties can reach millions of dollars. As part of the compliance process, a Form I-9 is integral to the reporting of eligibility documentation.

Some vendors offer software that helps companies track I-9’s. For example, Form I-9 Compliance offers a package and VisaNow licenses an online service. Wal-Mart wrote its own program to help out. Note that in the earliest days of specialized software law departments often decide to roll their own (See my post of May 23, 2007 about GE’s technology efforts, the disadvantages of customized software, and references cited.).

Wholly apart from the technology, my view is that a law department should not be burdened with the administrative, quasi-legal task of filing papers about the immigration status of its company’s employees (See my post of July 21, 2005 and the article on quasi-legal tasks that it cites.).

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