New Form I-9 is now Mandatory for Employers to Use

Feb 3, 2017 | Hiring an Employee, Labor Laws

new form i-9The new Form I-9 – the form used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired for employment in the United States – was released on November 14, 2016, and as of January 21, 2017, is now mandatory for employers to use. This document is critical for the hiring process, so in order to ensure that you are using it properly, here are some FAQs about the new Form I-9 that we’ve received:

1: Do I Need to Have Current Employees Fill Out the New Form?

The new I-9 should be used only for new employees and when you are required to reverify temporary work authorization. You should not request that current employees complete another I-9 simply because of the new form.

2: How Should I-9s Be Stored?

Separately. We recommend that you keep all I-9s in either a separate master file or a three-ring binder. Because I-9 files are subject to unique record retention laws, a separate master file or three-ring binder will help ensure that you retain these forms for as long as necessary and that you can readily discard them after the retention period expires.

For ease of organization, we even recommend removing an employee’s I-9 from the master folder or binder on their termination date and storing it a separate “terminated employee” I-9 file until the appropriate destroy date.

3: Are we required to make copies of the documents?

Usually not. Unless you participate in the E-Verify program, you’re not required to photocopy or scan documents for retention, and doing so is voluntary. However, if you wish to make photocopies of documents other than those used for E-Verify, you should do so for all employees, regardless of national origin, citizenship, or work authorization, and you must be consistent with this decision. In addition, these photocopies must be stapled to the I-9 and may not be used for any other purpose.

4: Do All Workers Need to Complete the I-9?

No. Non-employees including volunteers, unpaid interns, and independent contractors should not complete an I-9, as none of these workers (if properly classified) are employees.

Additionally, those hired before November 6, 1986, those hired for casual domestic work in a private home, and those who do not perform work on U.S. soil, do not need to complete an I-9.

Lastly, those providing labor to you, who are actually employed by a contractor providing contract services (e.g., employee leasing or temporary agencies), do not need to complete an I-9 with you; the I-9 should be done with their primary employer.

5: If an Employee Changes Their Name or Address, Do We Need to Do Another I-9?

Usually not. Except for certain government contractors or in some situations involving the use of fraudulent documents, employers do not need to update or complete a new I-9 when an employee changes their legal name or address. An employee is not required to provide documentation to show that they have changed their name for the purpose of the I-9. However, USCIS recommends maintaining correct information on I-9s and taking steps to ensure a name change is legitimate. To update the employee’s original I-9, enter their new legal name in Box A of Section 3, and then sign, date and print your name on the final line.

6: How Long Should We Store an I-9?

Quite a while. Form I-9s should be retained for the full length of an individual’s employment with you. Then, after employment has ended, they must be stored for 3 years after the date of hire, or 1 year after the date of termination, whichever date is later.

Once an I-9 is past its retention period, you may destroy it. We recommend a secure shredding company to ensure proper disposal and that documents related to an employee’s identity are secure.

For more information, contact us at (800) 929-9213.

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