Welcome to our weird new work world!
For many of us, COVID-19 means we now work from home. But thanks to technology, being out of the office no longer means we are out of touch or unproductive.
The Screening News Network will continue through this new phase. It’s just going to have a bit of a different look. Now more than ever, our team is dedicated to keeping you up to date on all the news that is relevant to your business.
Today, we start with the fact that courthouse are being affected by COVID-19 issues. Courthouses across the country are delaying some hearings and doing others virtually. Some are even preventing people from entering the buildings in an effort to limit exposure to the virus.
As far as background screening goes, it is essential that researchers be allowed to check criminal records. Some courts have moved to electronic records, but many still have to be searched in person. We have not heard of any delays yet, but we will let you know if this becomes an issue.
These days, hiring remotely has taken on a whole new meaning. Even if your new hire lives right next door, social distancing means you might not be in the same room during the onboarding process.
This can be a problem when it comes to filling out the Form I-9. The most difficult provision is filling out Section Two, since it requires the employer to examine the new hire’s documents in person. The Department of Homeland Security has made some adjustments to help employers stay in compliance while keeping their distance.
For the next 60 days – or until the national emergency is over – employers are allowed to inspect the documents virtually over teleconferencing apps like Zoom or Skype. If you are doing a lot of hiring during this period, you are going to want to be ready to hit the ground running the moment this is over. As soon as the state of emergency is lifted, employers must review the documents for all of the hires made during the slowdown, this time in person, in order for the Form I-9 to be valid.
For more in-depth information on the new Form I-9 and E-Verify rules and guidance, watch our interview with employment law expert Montserrat Miller.
We have been pleasantly surprised by the list of companies that are ramping up hiring in the midst of the Coronavirus. Employers like Amazon, Wal-Mart, grocery chains, drugstores and fast food joints have all announced plans to hire thousands – and sometimes tens of thousands – of employees.
Just a friendly reminder, this is not a time to skimp on your background screening. Even though we understand you need people in those positions now, the risks have not changed. You are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of your employees and your customers.
EBI is fully operational and here to help so you can continue your safe-hiring practices throughout this time of crisis. Contact us today and let us know how we can help.
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.