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To avoid penalties businesses must be I-9 compliant

There are unquestionably many things that businesses have to do to keep going. In addition to providing a service or product that consumers are interested in purchasing and hiring a staff to facilitate those purchases, they must follow a variety of rules and regulations. Some of those regulations pertaining to employees involve making sure that the workers are who they say they are and are actually eligible to work in the United States.

Employers are likely aware that this is accomplished by having all employees complete the Employment Eligibility and Verification Form. Also called the I-9, businesses that fail to comply with this rule could face penalties and large fines. There are multiple things businesses can do to try to avoid this fate.

The first is to make sure that a Form I-9 has been completed by every employee, regardless of how many hours a week they work. Both the portion filled out by the employee as well as the part the employer fills out should be complete. These completed forms must be kept on file.

Second, prior to having an employee fill out the form, employers should not specifically tell workers which identification document s to bring. Instead, they should provide workers a list of documents that the I-9 indicates can be used to prove identification. The employer can then determine whether the forms of identification are acceptable and valid.

Next, make sure that the form is completed in the time allotted. From their first day of work, all new hires have three days to finish it.

It is a good idea for businesses to create a policy regarding I-9 compliance. That policy should be written down and should cover:

  • Filing
  • Retention
  • Whether copies of supporting documents will be kept

In addition, hiring managers should be trained on the policy.

In some situations re-verification is necessary. Employers need to pay attention of the expiration date of supporting documentation and when necessary seek new documentation.

Following these tips may help to keep businesses from facing penalties. Self-audits could catch any issues that do exist so that a company can make changes before they get in trouble. Businesses might also benefit from working with an immigration lawyer.

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