Common Compliance Issues Employers Face in Verifying Employment Eligibility

On April 30, COVID-19 accommodations for the Form I-9 are scheduled to end, and employers need to be prepared for this. Employers must use a Form I-9 for every new employee in order to verify their identity and confirm their authorization to work in the United States. Employers should make sure they are using the most recent version of Form I-9. This would have a revision date of Oct. 21, 2019. It is also important for employers to supply employees with complete instructions for Form I-9.

Additionally, employers should ensure they are not discriminating against any employees on the basis of citizenship or national origin. Learn More

Employers need to have their employees fill out Section 1 of Form I-9 by the first day of their work. Employers need to fill out Section 2 of the form within the first three days following the new employee’s first day of work. The remaining section, Section 3, must be filled out at the time an employee’s authorization to work expires or should an employee be rehired.

Employers are required to physically examine the documents an employee supplies along with their Form I-9. Although, for employers operating on a remote basis, it is permissible to remotely inspect these documents through April 30. This date is not likely to be extended. The temporary guidance that permits employers to accept expired List B documents will also expire on April 30.

Employers should take care to avoid unfair documentary practices when completing Form I-9, as this is a very common compliance issue with this form. Employers are not allowed to request more documentation than is required. They can also not specify which documents the employee must provide or reject documents that appear to be genuine.

It is also important that employers not discriminate against employees on the basis of citizenship or national origin or retaliate against employees. Another issue that seems to cause employers problems is the reverification process. If employers reverify an employee when it is not necessary, they are essentially asking for more documents than are actually required. In addition to this mistake, many employers forget that permanent resident cards should not be reverified.

There are a couple of other issues that sometimes confuse employers. Sometimes employers are confused about when employment authorization documents expire. This is often due to the fact that the documents can be valid past their expiration date due to being extended by Federal Register notices. Another point of confusion for employers is whether or not they can begin work while they are waiting for a Social Security number. They are allowed to start work while waiting if they satisfy all of the other Form I-9 requirements.

All of these issues are common and result in compliance issues which can cost employers time and money. The best way to prevent these issues is with an I-9 management tool which can guide employers through the employment eligibility verification process and ensure documents are properly completed and stored for future review.

When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.