As Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) (http://www.ice.gov) and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) (http://www.justice.gov/crt/osc/index.php) continue to bear down on employers through I-9 investigations and fines, it is critical that employers review their I-9 procedures to ensure compliance. In prior Employment Law Updates, we have provided you with tips on achieving good I-9 compliance. We are back with more tips to help employers in this complex area of Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf).

  1. Do review the List of Acceptable Documents (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf) and confirm that the document presented by the employee is on the list, appears reasonably genuine on its face, and relates to the employee named in Section 1 of the Form I-9. Do confirm that the document is in the correct category (e.g., no multiple identity documents presented or documents that are not on list). Remember for initial completion, the new hire must show a List A document OR a List B document and a List C document. For reverification, the employee must show a List A document or List C document.
  2. Do review the employee's section 1 promptly after completion. Contact the employee to address corrections. Although this is the employee's section, ICE holds the employer responsible if it is not completed. Do ensure that the employer completes Section 2 (or Section 3 if reverification) fully and in the correct sections. Photocopying documents is not a substitute for completing the I-9 Form.

CAVEAT: Unless you are an E-Verify employer, the Social Security Number question in Section 1 is optional for the employee to answer.

  1. Do fix mistakes. Identify incomplete and inaccurate I-9 Forms. Correct deficiencies on existing I-9 Forms if possible.
  • Employee must write the correction (e.g., line through incorrect entry and enter correct data), date the correction, and initial the changes
  • Employer must write the correction (e.g., line through incorrect entry and enter correct data), date the correction, and initial the changes
  • Employer must write the correction and note correction as stated above
  • Do not use liquid paper on the I-9 Form and do not backdate
  1. Do treat all employees the same for I-9 completion. Follow the same procedures for all as to the timing of I-9 completion, the copying of documents, the choice of documents that may be presented, and the I-9s covered by internal audits.
  2. Do create a tickler system to remind the employer of reverifications, but do not record that tickler system on the I-9 Form. In general, do not make notes on the I-9 Form (other than the E-Verify confirmation number, if applicable).