By Latha M. Srinivasan, Guest Contributor
Have you advised your employer clients about the new Form I-9 yet? If they haven’t been using the revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released it on March 8, 2013, now is a good time to advise them to begin doing so. May 7, 2013 was the last day employers could use the old Form I-9. All employers in the United States are required to complete a Form I-9 for every employee under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA helps employers verify that individuals they hire are properly authorized to work in the United States.
What’s new in the new Form I-9? Not much. It is now nine pages long, including the instructions, the form itself, and the List of Acceptable Documents. The instructions are improved and the form itself has expanded from one to two pages with new data fields for telephone numbers and email addresses, as well as for an employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable).
Why bother with the new form? Employers may face fines of $110 to $1,100 for each improperly completed or unavailable I-9 which is discovered in an audit by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) or the Department of Labor (“DOL”). Don’t forget to encourage your employer clients to perform routine Form I-9 self audits and confirm with any employees responsible for processing I-9s that they understand their responsibilities. In addition to a revised Form I-9, there is also a revised Employer Handbook, Guidance For Completing I-9 (which is 70 pages long). Both documents can be found at the USCIS’s website, www.uscis.gov.
Latha M. Srinivasan, Esq. is Legal Counsel at Brilliance Labs and also maintains a practice in labor and employment law and compliance, and civil litigation.