Employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees. This is done on Form I-9 and most employers are likely familiar with this form and also familiar with the associated civil fines and criminal penalties.
Looking closely at the form, employers may notice that the current Form I-9 has expired.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working on updating the form.
In an online SHRM article posted August 27th, 2019, they identified three of the proposed changes to the Form I-9:
“Employers may designate anyone to be an authorized representative to complete Section 2 of the form. The employer is still liable for any violations committed by the designated person. John Fay, president of the LawLogix division of Hyland Software, a company that specializes in cloud-based I-9, E-Verify and immigration compliance services, explained that employers face difficulties in completing I-9s for remotely hired workers and need more-specific instructions to clarify who may serve as an authorized representative to complete the form.
Writing “N/A,” or not applicable, in the identity-document columns is no longer necessary. When entering document information in the List A column (or, alternatively, in the List B and List C columns), you will not need to enter “N/A” in the columns that are not used. “The requirement to enter ‘N/A’ in certain portions of the form could be burdensome and unclear,” Fay said. “Now, for example, if you have an employee present a U.S. passport, which is recorded in the List A column, you do not need to write ‘N/A’ in all of the fields in the List B and List C columns.”
The form’s List C documents that establish employment authorization do not include a worker’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The List C documents include a Social Security card and birth certificate, while the EAD (Form I-766) providing temporary employment authorization to work in the United States is a List A document.”
The changes have not yet been finalized. To that end, on August 12, 2019, the DHS instructed employers to continue using the current form until further notice. It’s not yet clear when the DHS expects to release an updated form.
Stay tuned to our blog for updates on this and other employer compliance needs.