Employers: Have You Hired Someone Recently?
Our guest-blogger, Immigration Attorney Ajay S. Thakkar, Esq., has some important information you might need to know!
Keep Your I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) Up To Date:
In order to comply with United States law, an employer must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire after November 6, 1986. The employer is required to complete and retain a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for each employee and refrain from discriminating against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship. The Form I-9 must be completed each time any person is hired to perform labor or services in the United States in return for wages or other remuneration. Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services, including food and lodging.
What do I need from my employees?
The employee must present to the employer an original document or documents that show his or her identity and employment authorization within three business days of the date employment begins. Although the law permits this three day window, sound practice is to require the documentation on or before the first day of employment. However, the employer may not begin the Form I-9 process until it offers an individual a job and he or she accepts your offer.
What kind of workers don’t require an I-9 Form?
An employer is not required to complete a Form I-9 for independent contractors, a person providing labor to the employer who is employed by a contractor providing contract services (e.g. employee leasing or temporary agency), or a person not physically working on U.S. soil. Nevertheless, the law maintains the employer cannot contract for the labor of an individual if the employer knows the person is not authorized to work in the United States.
What do I need to do?
Employers are required by law to maintain for inspection original Forms I-9 for all current employees. In the case of former employees, retention of Forms I-9 are required for a period of at least three years from the date of hire or for one year after the employee is no longer employed whichever is longer.
An employer should periodically review I-9 documentation for compliance, since both possible criminal and civil sanctions exist for any employer who engages in employment related violations. Forms I-9 should be reviewed to make sure any employment authorization documents of its employees are current and have not expired. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) which issues many of these documents include expiration dates even on documents with permanent employment authorization which can add to the confusion. This fact should not prevent the employer from exercising its due diligence to make sure all documentation is in order.
For more information on our guest-blogger Ajay Thakkar Esq., or if you think you might be experiencing issues requiring an excellent Immigration Attorney, visit thakkarlaw.com/
Thanks again, Ajay!