I-9 Forms Complex But Essential

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I-9-forms-complex-but-essentialYou’ve just hired a great addition to your team, and you’re excited to take your new employee through onboarding and training!  First things first:  complete the new hire paperwork.  The most important piece of paperwork for a newly-hired employee, and the most daunting for a lot of hiring managers, is the Form I-9.  There are so many variables in correctly completing the I-9 that it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Failure to properly complete, update and store I-9 forms can result in serious violations, exposing the employer to civil penalties imposed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Following are six tips to help your new employees complete the I-9 and ensure that your company stays in compliance with federal guidelines.

  1. Section 1 of the I-9 must be completed no later than the employee’s first day of employment, and is completed by the employee.
  2. Section 2 of the I-9 must be completed within no more than three business days of the date employment begins, and is completed by the employer. The person who reviews the documentation presented must be the same person to complete Section 2 of the I-9.
  3. The employee can choose to use the online, fillable version or hand write the form.
  4. Instructions to complete the I-9 must be made available to the employee. These can be printed for each individual employee, or may be printed and provided to the employee to review at the time they complete the document.
  5. The employee may not be directed as to which forms of identification to present.  If there is concern or confusion, review and explain the documents listed with the employee.  At that time, he or she can choose which documents to present that will complete the requirements listed.
  6. Documents presented must be originals, or  certified copies, in the case of a birth certificate.

There are many other nuances to the Form I-9, and while it can be a complex process, you don’t have to go it alone.  Contact a Human Resources Manager at Staff One HR today to discuss best practices or ask questions. In addition, visit uscis.gov for blank Form I-9s, Instructions, and helpful FAQs.  Contact the author directly at rheann.leech@staffone.com.

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