Verify Worker Eligibility with the I-9 Form

Business Man Giving Folder To TeammateWhen hiring a new employee, you are required to have Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification completed and maintained in your employment files.  The purpose of the form is to document that each new employee is authorized to work in the United States.

Section 1 needs to be filled out by the employee no later than the actual beginning of employment.  The employer is responsible for making sure it is completed timely.  Employers should note the work authorization expiration date (if applicable).  For employees who list an expiration date, employers are required to re-verify employment authorization before the date shown.

Employers must complete Section 2 by examining evidence of identity and employment authorization within three business days of hire.  See list of documents allowed at end of form.  Employees may present any document on list A or a combination of list B and C, but they must be originals.

Employers must record the following information:

  1. Document Title
  2. Issuing Authority
  3. Document Number
  4. Expiration Date (if any)
  5. Date Employment Begins

Employers must sign and date the form in Section 2.

Employers must complete Section 3 when updating or re-verifying employment eligibility.

Employers must maintain the completed Form I-9 for three years after hire or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.

This information will be used by employers as a record of their basis for determining eligibility of an employee to work in the United States.  The form must be kept by the employer and be made available for inspection by authorized officials of the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Failure to follow these rules could results in civil or criminal fines depending on the citation and number of offenses.  Fines range from $110 per form to $16,000 per violation.

Make sure you are in compliance in regard to having all documentation completed before the deadline to avoid fines.  If the employee can’t provide the information to you, do not let them begin working for you until the time that they have been able to do so.

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