SSI Bulletin Board:

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SSI is happy to announce a new affiliation with Synergy, a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) founded in 1989, with corporate headquarters in Chicago.

ADD ON Staffing, the local representative for Synergy, will be working closely with SSI to bring HR Outsourcing to the greater Minnesota marketplace. Please contact Scott Whelan for additional information. (952-392-6919).



 Temporary help firms: Who’s the boss?

By Diane Amell, MNOSHA Training Officer

During times of economic uncertainty or when business volume normally fluctuates throughout the year, employers may be reluctant to hire new employees who they may have to then lay off within a short time. For many employers, the solution is to use a temporary help service to provide short-term employees to get the work done, deliver product and provide prompt customer service.  

Minnesota OSHA is frequently asked who receives the citations and penalties if MNOSHA conducts an inspection of a workplace where temporary employees are working and violations are found. In such cases, MNOSHA determines who controls the means and the manner of the work. Usually it is the employer that brings the temporary workers in to perform the job, setting the hours, providing the necessary equipment and tools, and dictating how the work is to be accomplished.

Temporary employees must be included in the receiving facility’s safety and health program. They are to receive all necessary training and be provided with the proper personal protective equipment to enable them to perform their assignments safely, just like long-term employees. The employer that provides the day-to-day supervision of the temporary employee is generally held responsible by MNOSHA for assuring these steps are taken. Any work-related injuries and illnesses suffered by temporary workers must also be recorded on the host employer’s OSHA Form 300 injury and illness log.

All employees, whether short-term or permanent, have the right to be safe on the job and be able to return home after work without harm.

DHS Clarifies the Rules Governing Electronic I-9 Forms

The Department of Homeland Security has issued new rules regarding the creation and retention of electronic I-9 forms. The new rules clarify some issues that had been concerns amongst employers. The regulations will take effect on or about August 21, 2010. The changes include the following:

  • Employers must complete an I-9 form for each new hire within 3 business days of the date of hire for the employee (not 3 calendar days);
  • Employers may use paper, electronic systems, or a combination of paper and electronic storage mediums;
  • Employers may change electronic storage systems as long as the system being utilized meets the performance requirements of the regulations;
  • When utilizing an electronic I-9 system, employers must keep an audit trail when the I-9 is created, completed, updated, modified, altered, or corrected; employers do NOT need to keep an audit trail when the I-9 is viewed;
  • Employers may provide or transmit a confirmation of a Form I-9 transaction, but are not required to do so unless the employee requests a copy. This requirement ensures that the employee can verify all information is imputed correctly on the I-9 form.

If you are planning to utilize or implement an electronic storage system for I-9s, be aware that the regulations address specific requirements for auditing and reproduction that you must maintain in order to be in compliance with the regulations. These provisions must be examined closely to ensure any system you are utilizing complies with the rules.

Remember, employers are required to retain a Form I-9 in their own files for three years after the date of hire of the employee or one year after the date that employment is terminated, whichever is longer. Recruiters or referrers for a fee are required to retain each Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire. Employers are not required to copy or make an electronic copy of the documents an employee presents to verify their employment in support of their I-9; however, employers must apply their policy/practice uniformly to all employees.

If you have any questions regarding the I-9 requirements, I-9 processes, or any ICE Form I-9 inspections and investigations, please contact Sara Stertz at Sara is experienced in handling such matters efficiently and cost effectively.













"The three greatest essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense." Thomas Edison