E-Signature Compliance

Bullhorn Onboarding includes electronic signature functionality as part of its document management solution. We are often asked about the laws regulating electronic signatures and whether the electronic signature functionality in Onboarding is compliant with those regulations.

This page provides some general guidance to the existing laws, and an explanation of the features within Onboarding’s Electronic Signature functionality that are designed to help your business comply with applicable law.

Generally, what are the primary laws or statutes in effect regarding electronic signatures?

Traditionally, contracts were signed with pen and ink but electronic signatures have increased in popularity over the past two decades. As a result, some of the first electronic records laws were enacted in the United States as far back as 1999.

Two major bodies of law covering electronic signatures in the United States are the UETA and ESIGN.

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) is a uniform set of laws that has been adopted in the majority of the states in the US, and The Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) is a nearly equivalent federal law.

Both statutes provide a legal framework under which electronic signatures are deemed valid provided the electronic signature, and surrounding processes, meet certain requirements.

In general, these requirements include requiring evidence of the following:

  • The user had the intent to sign the document
  • The user consented to doing business electronically
  • The signer is who they say they are
  • The document has not been tampered with or edited after signing and the document is available to all relevant parties

How are Electronic Signatures designed and implemented in Bullhorn Onboarding to help your company satisfy applicable laws?

Bullhorn has designed the Onboarding Electronic Signature feature to satisfy the requirements of ESIGN and UETA and most equivalent laws in other jurisdictions.

Note: Bullhorn always recommends you review applicable local laws in your jurisdiction with your own counsel to determine your specific requirements.

Onboarding incorporates a number of functions designed to help establish intent, consent, authenticity, and integrity of electronic signatures on Onboarding documents and forms as per regulatory standards. These features including consent pop-ups, audit trails, document retention processes, and data integrity functionality.

In addition to ESIGN and UETA standards, the USCIS has established their own set of electronic signature requirements specifically for electronic I-9 forms. The electronic signature functionality offered with the Onboarding Service is designed to meet these USCIS requirements as outlined in the January 2017 revision of the M-274 Handbook for Employers, “Guidance for Completing Form I-9.”

What about outside the United States?

Much of the major legislation in the United Kingdom, European Union, and Australia has similar requirements to UETA and ESIGN. Depending on where your business is located and with whom you conduct business, a variety of local laws and statutes may apply to you.  

As with any legal concern in regard to your business, you should contact your legal counsel for guidance on your local requirements.

What should I do if I have additional questions about Electronic Signatures?

Regulations are always subject to change and your legal counsel is the best resource for guidance in regards to the most current and applicable laws impacting your business.

Note (7/26/2017) - we have introduced a number of enhancements to our electronic signature functionality in the August 2017 product release for Bullhorn Onboarding. This functionality will eventually be enabled by default, but at present, customers must opt-in by contacting support.

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