Every employer must verify the identity and authorization to work of every employee by completing an I-9 for each new hire after November 6, 1986.
- Form and instructions can be found at:
- Make sure you use the most recent form as it gets updated periodically.
- Common Mistakes: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/complete-correct-form-i-9/common-mistakes-and-how-avoid-them
- As enforcement under the current Administration is on the rise, it is imperative to perform an audit of the I-9s on file. First, be sure to weed through all I-9s and remove any from non-active employees. This will eliminate any issues with I-9s that do not require review. Second, perform a self-audit or hire counsel to perform an audit. Randomly select a percentage of active I-9s and review for any errors. If the majority of the selection contain issues, it would be wise to audit all remaining I-9s. Refer to the link above for common mistakes.
- To correct the I-9s, simply single-line through any mistakes, correct, date and initial, and make a memo to the file indicating the changes that were made. Do not use white-out on the forms.
- Employers cannot discriminate against individuals. Therefore, you cannot require that employees use any particular document to satisfy the requirement. Instead, provide the list of acceptable documents for proof of identification and work eligibility.
- Social Security numbers are not required for the I-9 unless the employer participates in E-Verify.
- Both civil and criminal penalties can be imposed for I-9 paperwork violations, unlawful employment, and discriminatory practices. The monetary penalties are adjusted periodically but range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the severity and frequency of the violations. Criminal sanctions can be imposed for a pattern or practice of unlawful employment.
MJB Immigration (formerly known as Sharon & Kálnoki LLC) is available to perform Workforce Compliance/I-9 Audit Review. Please feel free to contact our office with any concerns/questions.