If Krispy Kreme didn’t have enough problems already – here comes news they’ve been fined by the EEOC for hiring illegal (undocumented) workers in their Cincinnati factory. The fine amounts to $40,000.
What is remarkable about this fine is how easily it could have been prevented. The paperwork is easy – you just download an I-9 form off the internet. If there is any doubt about the documentation a candidate provides, just login to e-verify that’s provided by the Department of Homeland Security. That would have been much cheaper than $40,000 and the embarassment caused by the resulting publicity.
And in case you think it might not happen to you – ICE has announced audits of 652 other businesses in the coming months (and we’re sure there are more to follow!). The Obama administration has changed the focus from illegal employees to the employers that employ them.
Just after posting my opinion on job references comes more comments. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, a job applicant was frustrated because potential employers wanted a minimum of three job references, but her prior employers had a policy of not providing such references.
Elizabeth Garone provided good advice, suggesting that supervisors no longer with the same company might be willing to be references (and because they’re no longer with the company, may be more willing to talk to a prospective employer).
Again, if I’m leaning towards hiring a candidate, I’m not going to spend time calling references – more often than not, the reference can’t give me any good information and the candidate is only going to list references that show that person in the best possible light! It’s not worth my time! I can do criminal investigations, skills testing and personality/instinct testing that will more properly predict success than a reference check.
Now, many attornies are warning employers about the hidden dangers of LinkedIn. Specifically, attorneys are advising employers to be wary of giving glowing remarks about employees on the site because the employers risk having the recommendations used against them in a discrimination or harassment suit.
You’re about to make a job offer to a candidate. Should you call his or her references?
Some people say yes, others say no. I’m in the latter category.
First, unless the candidate is a complete moron, they’re not going to give you names of people who provide a negative reference. And most previous employers are understandably nervous about providing any information on a former employee.
Some of our clients like to verify the candidates dates of employment or compensation. Fine – ask the candidate for a copy of their most recent W-2 form or paycheck stub. Other than that, calling references is a lot of time for a very little reward.
Following standard procedures, you can require a background check, drug testing or even skills testing to verify information and make sure the candidate is you he/she says they are.
Here’s an article in the South Jersey Courier Post that talks about the reference controversy. However, I seriously disagree with parts of the article that suggest visiting a candidates social networking sites as a pre-hire investigation. As I wrote back in May, using google and social networking sites to evaluate potential candidates is a really bad idea.
What does calling references accomplish?
American Apparel has been accused by ICE of employing 1,800 people in Los Angeles who are not authorized to work in the United States.
It begs the question – is your I-9 house in order?
One of the biggest mistakes we see when conducting HR Audits is when businesses screw up their I-9 process.
We’ve seen I-9’s unsigned, misfiled, lost – and – in many cases – business owners who never used I-9’s in the first place!
Get an audit completed today – you may be next…