Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Special Vigilance: How employers can protect their assets and their communities

Given the current situation at our boarders, we believe there is a significant risk that terrorist might gain access to U.S. employers to help establish cells. This risk is paramount in south Texas and southern California, in particular. While cell members may want to gain access to certain employers (such as public utilities, chemical manufacturers, or refineries) because of target value, we must quickly point out that any public or private sector employer is susceptible to being used by a foreign national terrorist(s) as a means of cover or base of operation. Subsequently, it is the responsibility of all employers to do everything allowable, under the law, to identify workers who are illegal or who are presenting false worker identification.

Minimally, employers must make certain that I-9 procedures are closely followed. Additionally, companies should train human resource employees how to recognize falsified employment documents. Information regarding false INS documents and proper I-9 procedures can be found on the following Homeland Security Web-site: http://uscis.gov/. Additionally, I recommend that companies run Social Security Number searches on applicants as a way to detect “borrowed” numbers. Social Security Number searches are cheap to run, and they are invaluable in determining where criminal background checks need to be done. Your background screening service provider has the access and the means to do these searches for you.

On a post-hire basis, the Social Security Administration will assist employers by verifying an employee’s D.O.B., and gender. Many fraudulent applicants will not know the real D.O.B. or gender associated with the people whose identities they have stolen. Often this is all you will need to trip them up. Before you get on the phone with the Social Security Administration, you will need to be prepared to give them your company’s EIN number.

Last, in certain high risk states, the Department of Homeland Security provides a means for employers to verify employment eligibility on a post hire basis. This program, called SAVE, also checks an employee’s name against various other Homeland Security databases and watch lists. Participation in this program is a terrific way for employers to help protect their businesses and their communities against the risk of terrorist attack. Asset Control is a registered agent for the Department of Homeland Security’s SAVE program and can facilitate your participation in it. Please call us if you are interested in participating in this valuable but inexpensive program.

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