Employers Required to Use Revised Form I-9
Effective September 18, 2017, employers must begin using a revised Form I-9, which was released on July 17, 2017. The new form is valid through August 31, 2019. Using an outdated form is a violation of recordkeeping requirements and may result in fines to the employer.
The Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire in the United States. Employees must present their employer with the acceptable documents evidencing their identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employee’s supporting documents to determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the employee and then certify to the best of their knowledge that the employee is authorized to work in the United States. I-9 must be completed no later than the third business day after the employee begins working for pay.
There are several changes to new Form I-9, including additional acceptable documents for proof of work eligibility. There is also a new section of acceptable documents for people who are under the age of 18 who cannot present other forms of acceptable documents. Additionally, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updated their Handbook for Employers (M-274) and examples of many acceptable documents appear in Part 13 on the Handbook.
Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9. Several government agencies including Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor or Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of Department of Justice may ask to inspect an employer’s I-9 forms. Employers must have completed I-9 on file for each person who is on their payroll and retain, for certain periods of time, the I-9 after an employee has been terminated. Rules regarding terminated employee I-9 retention are found here. I-9 forms must be technically correct. Inspections by government agencies can result in fines and penalties. We recommend that employer’s perform an audit of their I-9 forms at least annually.
In Arizona, employers must also participate in the E-Verify program in addition to completing and retaining an I-9. Employers who are found in violation will be subjected to a three to five-year probationary period during which the employer will be required to file quarterly reports. A business license can be suspended for ten days or more. For a second violation, a license can be revoked permanently.
Jeffrey Silence is an employment law attorney at Jaburg Wilk. He helps employers with challenging employment law issues including government compliance, employee handbooks and policies.