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Understanding employer responsibilities as they relate to Form I-9 - II

Earlier this week, our blog began discussing how entrepreneurs who have moved on to the hiring process will need to do more than just ensure that they are filling their ranks with the best candidates. Indeed, they will need to ensure that they are complying with state and federal laws covering the hiring of new employees, including the completion of Form I-9.

To recap, Form I-9 is a federal document designed to confirm the identity of new hires and verify that they are legally permitted to work, meaning they are U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, noncitizen nationals or aliens authorized to work.

Having established what Form I-9 is, today's post will examine some of the basic completion requirements.

When Form I-9 must be completed

Employers are required to complete Form I-9 whenever a new employee is brought aboard to perform labor or services in exchange for wages or some other form of remuneration. As to what constitutes remuneration, it essentially means anything given in return for labor or services, such as lodging and/or food.

How Form I-9 must be completed  

There are two sections to Form I-9, with the first being completed by the employee at the time of hire, meaning their first day of employment for pay. As for the second section, it must be completed by the employer within three business days of the hire, such that if the new employee completes the first section on Tuesday, the employer must have the second section completed by Friday.

It's important for employers to understand that if the employee is retained for less than three business days, Form I-9 must be fully completed -- by both employee and employer alike -- on the first day of employment for pay.

Who must not complete Form I-9

Those who are not required to fill out Form I-9 include:

  • Those individuals hired before or on November 6, 1986, who are continuing in their employment and reasonably expect this employment to continue at all times
  • Those individuals classified as independent contractors
  • Those individuals employed to perform casual domestic work on an irregular or intermittent basis
  • Those individuals not physically present in the U.S.
  • Those individuals employed by an employee leasing agency or temporary agency

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if you are an employer who would like to learn more about I-9 compliance and enforcement.

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