If I tell my clients one thing consistently, it is to document properly and consistently. One area this can be problematic is the I-9. This form is required by employers in the US to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new hires. Every single employee must have an I-9 completed and in their personnel file. With Federal law and California law having different views on immigration issues, I-9 audits are on the rise. To limit exposure, make sure the I-9’s are completed fully and properly for all employees and retain records of this form for no less than 3 years after the date of separation from employment (best practices dictates you should keep all records for at least 4 years from the date employment ends). Be aware, there is not a lot of time to fix these issues if you receive a Notice of Inspection from ICE. Upon receipt of that Notice, you typically have 3 days to get your I-9’s and payroll records ready for the audit. Failure to follow the proper procedure can leave the employer with penalties and fines that add up!
What to do? Make sure you properly and completely fill out the I-9. To do this you may need to audit your files (to avoid potential discrimination claims, audit them all!) Make sure you have an I-9 for all employees and that the information provided is accurate, complete, the documents are signed, the names match and all this information is on the most up to date I-9 form when bringing on a new employee or re-verifying.
For questions about how to ensure you are I-9 compliant, please do not hesitate to contact our employment attorneys.
This material in this article, provided by Chauvel & Glatt, is designed to provide informative and current information as of the date of the post. It should not be considered, nor is it intended to constitute, legal advice or promise similar outcomes. (Photo credit: 123rf.com)