Last updated on February 1st, 2016 at 02:04 pm
Big Y Foods of Springfield, Massachusetts, has become the latest business to partner in a nationwide program by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to ensure a legal and more secure work force.
Officials with Big Y and ICE formally agreed in January to partner in the “IMAGE” program. IMAGE is a voluntary program that allows private industries to partner with ICE to reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents.
“By volunteering to become members of IMAGE, companies large and small can reduce unauthorized employment and the use of fraudulent identity documents,” said Special Agent in Charge Matthew Etre of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations in Boston. “Businesses that join IMAGE also increase the reputation of their brand and their company.”
As an IMAGE certified member, Big Y is recognized as an exceptional employer and a role model in the business community. IMAGE-certified employers are committed to hiring only authorized workers whose identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. is documented. Partnering with IMAGE provides Big Y with the tools to ensure employees are who they represent themselves to be.
To qualify for IMAGE certification, a business must complete the following requirements:
• Enroll in employment eligibility verification programs, such as E-Verify and the Social Security Number Verification Service.
• Establish a written hiring and employment eligibility verification policy that includes internal Form I-9 audits annually.
• Undergo a Form I-9 employment eligibility verification audit conducted by ICE.
Big Y is the first supermarket chain in New England to gain the IMAGE distinction.
“Big Y is pleased to be part of the IMAGE program. The partnership with IMAGE enables us to achieve the highest level of available employment integrity and promotes a healthy, safe and productive work environment,” said Laurie Herbert, director of talent management and employee relations.