by Mark A. Cobb
Contractors constantly run the balance between running a viable and profitable business and executing and performing quality work under their contracts. Our blog attempts to keep our readers up to date on issues which impact construction professionals. Today, there are two updates which you need to know!
1. Form I-9 Updates
As you likely aware, all employers must complete an I-9 Form for each new employee they hire. The I-9 is officially called the Employment Eligibility Verification, and it is issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The authorization for the form comes from the the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and its purpose is (i) to verify the identity of a prospective employee and (ii) confirms that the prospective employee is legally authorization to work in the United States. Every U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. Failure to use the correct I-9 form or failure to properly complete the I-9 form can be costly to employers as the fines can range between $216 and $2,156 per individual form.
This Fall, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services issued two revisions of Form I-9. Employers should ensure that they are using the latest version; otherwise, they may be subject to fines for failure to use the correct forms. Please click on this link to obtain your copy of the revised I-9, the English instructions for completing the I-9, and the Spanish instructions for completing the I-9.
The changes to the I-9 form are not particularly substantive and will not be noticed by most employers or human resource professionals. However, since Georgia’s construction industry hires many employees who are immigrants, general contractors and subcontractors often find themselves the subject of an audit to confirm their employees have proper I-9s documentation. Thus, it is imperative that every contractor download and use the correct form.
2. OSHA 300A Electronic Log
The OSHA 300A form is known as the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and certain employers must maintain and file these form with OSHA. More specifically, Employers (i) working in certain high-risk industries including many construction jobs and (ii) with 20 to 249 employees have had to file their OSHA 300A logs; now, these employers, must now submit their OSHA 300A log electronically. The deadline for submitting 2016 reporting has been extended to December 15, 2017.
To obtain the current forms and to gather more information, please click here.
Georgia’s contractors, subcontractors and suppliers need to be wary of violating these requirements by instituting these procedures immediately. If you have any questions or need clarifications as to employers’ rights and obligations, please feel free to contact us.