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Some Thoughts on I-9 Compliance

The I-9 form has become a routine part of the hiring process.  Most employers don't give much thought to the I-9 once the hiring process is completed.  The form is filled out and promptly tossed into the I-9 file, never to be seen again (unless the government visits).  If this describes your company, you might consider changing that practice.  It is a good idea to conduct an audit of your own I-9 documents on a periodic basis to ensure your company is in compliance.   The penalty for failing to properly comply with the I-9 requirements ranges anywhere from $110 to $1,100 per violation.  This can add up extremely fast.  Here are a few things to consider as you review your company's I-9 documents:

1.  Did the employee completely fill out the top section of the form?  Make sure each line is completed and that the employee signed and dated the document.

2.  Are the entries in the document section fully completed?  Make sure each of the lines is completed to the fullest extent possible.  One common error in this part of the I-9 is the failure to list the issuing authority for the document.

3.  Are you properly utilizing List A, B, and C documents?  Remember -- List A is enough by itself.  If you use documents from List B or List C, they are used as a package.  Your form should either have one document in List A or a document in List B and C together. 

4.  Consistency check the documents against the check-off box completed by the employee in the top section of the form.  If someone claims to be a U.S. citizen, the documents provided should be consistent with that claim.

5.  Did the person completing the form fill out the certification date and then fully complete the employer section? 

6.  If work authorization documents have an expiration date, has a reverification been conducted?

These are just a few simple things to consider as you review your company's I-9 documents.  Remember, each error you find and correct prior to an inspection will reduce the scope of any penalties assessed by the government down the road. 


Don Berner Image
Don Berner, the Labor Law, OSHA, & Immigration Law Guy
Boyd Byers Image
Boyd Byers, the General Employment Law Guy
Jason Lacey Image
Jason Lacey, the Employee Benefits Guy
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