The Colorado Division of Labor has recently stepped up its enforcement of Colorado’s Employment Verification Law. The Employment Verification Law, codified at Colorado Revised Statutes section 8-2-122, became effective on January 1, 2007, and applies to all public and private employers who transact business in Colorado. In general, the Employment Verification Law requires employers to meet the following two requirements:
Requirement #1: Within 20 days after hiring a new employee, the employer must complete an affirmation affirming the following: (1) the employer examined the legal work status of the employee; (2) the employer retained copies of the documents the employee presented for completion of the employee’s federal Form I-9 (such as a driver’s license and Social Security card); (3) the employer did not alter or falsify the employee’s identification documents; and (4) the employer did not knowingly hire an undocumented worker.
The employer must retain a paper or electronic copy of the affirmation for the term of employment of each employee. A sample affirmation that the Colorado Division of Labor recommends for compliance is available here.
Requirement #2: The employer must create and retain a paper or electronic copy of the documents that the employee presents for completion of the employee’s federal Form I-9 (such as a driver’s license and Social Security card).
To facilitate compliance with Colorado’s Employment Verification Law, we recommend that employers take the following actions.
Add New Check Boxes to HR Checklist
We recommend that employers add new check boxes to their HR Department’s new hire checklist. The check boxes should remind HR personnel to: (1) complete and save the attached affirmation; and (2) copy and save the documents the employee provides in connection with preparation of the Form I-9.
Self-Audit for Compliance
We also recommend that employers periodically self-audit for compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and Colorado’s Employment Verification Law. Self-auditing is especially important in light of the recent increase of compulsory audits conducted by the Colorado Division of Labor. Failure to comply with Colorado’s Employment Verification Law carries potential fines—up to $5,000 for the first offense, and up to $25,000 dollars for any subsequent offense.