Employment Verification Changes
While immigration and employment policies have been in the news all year, there is one new change already coming that employers must be aware of.
An electronic version of the new I-9 form has been issued for Employment Verification. The new I-9 form, dated November 14, 2016, must be used by employers for all new hires beginning no later than January 22, 2017.
The new document can be found at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service website (https://www.uscis.gov/i-9).
We’ll keep an eye on new policy changes made by the incoming Trump Administration and endeavor to keep you informed of changes that may impact you and your business.
What is the I-9 Employment Verification Form?
U.S. Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form (commonly called the “I-9 Form”) is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers are required to ensure proper completion of an I-9 Form for each individual they hire for employment in the United States.
On the form, an employee must attest to his or her citizenship or legal employment status. The employee is required to present acceptable documents to establish both identity and employment authorization.
The employer is required to examine the employment documents to determine whether they appear to be genuine and support the information the employee recorded on the Form I-9.
The form must be signed by the employee as well as the representative of the employer who inspected the documents and the Form I-9 must be kept for a period of 3 years after the employee started working or 2 years after the date of termination, whichever is later, in an accessible format for inspection by USCIS.
What does this change mean for me?
This new form must be filled out for all new hires on or after Sunday, January 22, 2017. If you already have I-9s completed for your existing employees nothing needs to be done and this will only apply to any new hire that starts at the end of January.
What if I don’t have I-9s completed for all my employees?
First, good for you for checking into this. It’s a great idea to review your employment files annually, or more often to make sure you have everything you need to be compliant with all of the pertinent regulations. If you need help completing such a review, please give our office a call and we would be glad to assist you.
Next, go ahead and download the new form right now and have each of your employees complete it. You do not need to wait until January to start using the new for you can use it right now. It is available on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service website (https://www.uscis.gov/i-9).
What are the penalties for not completing or keeping the I-9 Form
If you do not have a valid I-9 form on file for inspection for every employee, your business could be fined $216 per employee. If the government determines that you have knowingly hired unauthorized workers the fine is up to $4,313 for the first offense and up to $10,781 for a second offense and up to $21,563 per unauthorized employee thereafter.
Bottom Line for Employment Verification
Employers should ensure that they have and start using the new Employment Verification form for all new hires and re-hires.