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Employer Alert: New Employee I-9 Form by January 22, 2017!

Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”), employers are required to verify the employment eligibility of new employees by reviewing acceptable documents provided by the employee. These documents establish the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States. Thus, new employees are required to complete an Employment Eligibility Verification commonly known as the “I-9 Form.” The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a modern and improved new employee I-9 Form that employers must start using by January 22, 2017.

Thus, you have just over one month to implement the new employee I-9 form. For now, you can still use the version of the I-9 form dated 03/08/2013. Make sure you download and start using the new employee I-9 form anytime by January 22, 2017!

Employers Obligations

  • The employer must provide the new employee I-9 Form to a new employee and ensure that it is filled out correctly with the new employee signing Section 1.
  • Then, after inspecting the employee’s documents, the employer must complete and sign Section 2.
  • The employer is obligated to finish this process by no later than the third business day of employment.
  • These completed new employee I-9 Forms should be kept in a separate I-9 folder for all employees — not in each employee’s personnel file.

To help employers avoid errors, the new employee I-9 Form is a new “smart” version of the new employee I-9 Form. The revised “smart” new employee I-9 form should be easier to complete on a computer because it includes drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. Employers will still have the option to simply print out the new employee I-9 Form and complete it entirely by hand.

The process of completing new employee I-9 Forms can be confusing, and employers often make mistakes. Unfortunately, as with all government regulations hanging over small businesses, this one is no different with costly fines if not completed correctly. Make sure to mark your calendar to avoid missing the deadline to start using the new employee I-9 Form by January 22, 2017.  Contact Dana Ball to keep you HR Compliant.