The Firm recently reviewed an employee handbook containing a section on employment verification and stating that employees rehired within 3 years of their termination do not need to complete a new I-9 form. However, this language is only partially correct. Whether a rehired employee needs to complete a new I-9 form depends upon the date the employee completed an I-9 form when he or she first worked for the company. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act, a person who is rehired within three years of the initial preparation of the I-9 form does not have to re-verify his or her employment, unless the verification documents have expired. For example, if the employee commenced work with the company in 2007, quit in 2008 and was rehired in 2009, re-verification is not needed. However, if the employee commenced employment in 2000, quit in 2008 and returned in 2009, reverification is needed.
Bryan Funai, a member of the Firm’s Immigration Practice Group, generally recommends that companies do not include such specific language in an employee handbook. If a company has to include any wording at all, it is best to state only that the company and employee will abide by all governmental requirements relating to authorizing employment status. In this way, the company does not have to amend the handbook every time there is a change in the federal regulations affecting employees.