According to US government regulations, an I-9 form must be completed for each person a business hires. In fact it is required to be completed within the first 3 business days of the employees first work day.

The first task is to get the required documents from the employee. Here is the link to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services web site for acceptable documents. And you may think that its a good idea to get as much information as possible. But don’t because there is a regulation against over documentation.

After you have the I-9 completed and signed, you must keep the original in paper or electronic form for a period of time. Click here for the calculation for the time you must retain the I-9. And in whatever form you keep the I-9, you must have it available to inspectors in 3 business days.

Professional businesswoman standing in office

A good practice is to have all the forms needed in a “new hire” folder, such as W-4, I-9, emergency contacts and work place policies and procedures. Each type of business will have its own unique set of forms. As we approach the new year it is always a good idea to review your hiring practice and paperwork.


Otto? Friendly German bar keep? Burly coal miner in Ohio?

No, Otto is the first self driving commercial truck that just delivered its first load. What??

Yes, on October 18, 2016, Otto loaded beer in Fort Collins, Colorado and delivered to Colorado Springs, Colorado, a 120 mile trip. Well, Otto did have help. A commercial driver was along monitoring the drive. The driver takes over when the truck has to exit the freeway. I have driven through the Denver traffic and have to give props to the technology that can do that and not flip off the driver in the next lane.

Otto has been tested before on closed tracks as well as highways, this was the first time freight was carried in the truck.


Uber recently purchased Otto for $700 million so they are certainly ready for a return on their investment. The inventors of the system are all former Google people and worked on the self-driving car. They thought there was more of a market for freight to move about the country, and they are correct. We have been hearing of a driver shortage in the trucking industry since the 1980’s.

Currently there are 3.5 million truck drivers working in the United States and good part of them are nearing retirement age. This could be an answer to driver shortage. The automation drives the truck on the freeways and the driver takes over at the exit to drive local streets to either pick-up, deliver or fuel the truck. While on the freeway, the driver can nap or do whatever he/she needs to do, then take over at the exit.

A big question is how is FMCSA going to handle this. The regulations for logging time for commercial drivers is cut and dried. They do not do things quickly so I hope that the Department of Transportation is at least thinking about this issue.


Vision Zero

Have you heard the term ‘Vision Zero’ ?

Started in Sweden in 1997 and now spread world wide, Vision Zero is a process of eliminating ALL traffic fatalities. Many countries have adopted the plan as a country, while the United States has not until now. Read the Wikipedia explanation here. Vision Zero even has a Facebook page.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided we need 30 years to reach the goal of zero traffic deaths.  Zero

Do you believe that is realistic? Of course its a wonderful goal, to eliminate every traffic death everywhere. But even the autonomous vehicles are having a tough time staying out of accidents. Read the New York Times account of the first fatal accident in a self driving Tesla.

So first we would need to eliminate every vehicle with a mechanical issue. Everything from a low tire to an engine ready to blow.

Who’s left? Oh, eliminate the teenager texting. Remove everyone that is driving distracted. That means the guy drinking coffee and the woman late for work putting on her make-up. Now who is left?

Eliminate the sleepy, the mad, the daydreamers. Had a fight with your significant other? No driving for you today. Did the cat wake you in the night? You will have to stay home today. So now who is left?

I think those two crying toddlers in the back seat are distracting you. Stay home. Seems to me like a slippery slope.

Since we can’t seem to do this now, what makes the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)  believe that it can be done in 30 years? Can you imagine the policing that we would need. Checkpoints every few miles to decide who is too sleepy, mad or high to drive on.

Vision Zero? Just tell me how your going to regulate this!

Vision Zero





Aren’t those flowers lovely? NOPE!  They are opium poppies. Refined into morphine then chemically modified to heroin…not lovely. And 95 % of the worlds opium poppies products are from Afghanistan. Hmmmm, lets not get it to the politics of that hot potato.

Heroin is a growing issue in the small town I live in as it is all over. A local park was recently cleaned by a group of concerned citizens and they retrieved a 55 gallon trash bag filled with needles.

Well our neighbors to the north have a new idea. Canadian doctors can now legally prescribe diacetylmorphine, or pharmaceutical-grade heroin to their patients. Read CNN’s article here. The idea is that it gets the addicted person off the street, not stealing to maintain their habit and not exposed to disease thus saving the state money in law enforcement and social services.

You probably saw the story on the grandmother in the car, with her 4 year old grandson, passed out on heroin. Read that here

What do you think is the answer? Is it up to the government to fix it? And what is the bigger issue…why? Why do so many of our citizens try to fill the empty part of their soul with heroin?

Maybe we can wait and see what happens in Canada.