Today was my third day at my Brand New Job. At this job, I get to be in a high security area, which means badges, a whole mess of keys and restrictions on objects you can bring in/out. The job is filled with colorful characters, and I’m already developing a stash of stories to tell.
This is one of them.
Though this story doesn’t deal with the colorful individuals that are the consumers at this social service agency (ie. forensic ward at a hospital.) This story deals with the people in Human Resources that fail to understand what proof I need for being eligable for employment.
Let’s back up. As with most jobs at most places (and every job at every place I’ve worked) I was required to fill out a stack of papers for things such as my mandatory sign up for the Union (AFL-CIO), retirement benefits, confidentiality agreement, W-4 and the ubiquitous I-9. The I-9 is the form that proves your eligability to work in the U.S. and requires you to submit documents to prove this. Usually these documents are in the form of a lone U.S. passport (my document of choice) or two other documents combined, usually being the state ID or Driver’s License and a Social Security Card. I’ve gotten out of the habit of carrying my SS card with me on a regular basis, so given that one document, my Passport, should suffice, that is what I choose to bring.
My coworker warned me that it may not be enough. There is, however, no document in the packet that requires any documentation aside from the aforementioned. So, I told her, I should be fine.
Apparently the HR people don’t understand what the I-9 requires. The first woman I spoke to was determined that I should have my Social Security card included in the file, despite none of the information I was handed stating that to be the case. I told her that according the the form, my passport was all that was required. She didn’t take that as an answer and referrerd to her coworkers. Another woman came to me and read over the I-9, with me pointing out to her that my passport was sufficient. She looked over it in a very bureucratic, matter of fact way, reading the headers and eventually stating that (well, I can only interpret what she said for myself) I was correct. She then requested my Driver’s License. I asked her what form stated that she needed my Driver’s License. She looked at me and said she didn’t understand what I was talking about. I then said to her, “What form can you show me states the requirement that I give you my Driver’s License to photocopy?” She said she would have to look into it, and was getting this aire of “I’m so leaving this conversation now!” She then mumbled something about how they needed it in case they have to prove my residency, update where I live, because they get reports… blah blah blah.
Given the fact that I’m shitty at updating my own address for my Driver’s License, I don’t know how that would do them one bit of good.
Besides, they already have my SSN on numerous documents already. They could try to get my credit report if they *really wanted.* Also consider I already authorized a criminal background check in order to take the job.
They do NOT need any more forms of ID and they were unable to give me any information stating as to why they needed additional ID.
This all happened in front of my coworker, who is training me. I later explained to her, after I got the “Well, we’ll contact you if we need more information.” crap from the HR people, that in the end, this was a fight for civil liberties.
Maybe not really, but that’s what it felt like. I mean, there was no documentation there that they could give me that required any more information than they already had.
I believe it’s my right to withhold that information if i so choose.
As it is, they know a lot more about me than I likely do about myself.
I’m just waiting to see if I don’t get my paycheck on payday because of this. 🙂 This could get fun!
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