How to deal with an I-9 issue

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that an I-9 is completed as soon as possible when it is determined one isn't on file. Here’s our recommendations on how to navigate this situation.



Provide a list of acceptable documents along with I-9 instructions to your employees. You can’t specify which documents an employee must provide, but you can supply a list of approved documents they can bring in to complete the I-9 process.


Don’t backdate the form. The employee must enter the date they complete the I-9 on their signature line in Section 1, and you must enter the date you reviewed the required documents on your signature line in Section 2.


Include the employee’s original start date. This is a requirement, regardless of when the I-9 form was actually completed. Enter the date that the employee actually began work.


Add a memo to your late I-9 files. Explain why it wasn’t completed within three days following the employee's hire date. You can usually state that as a result of conducting an internal audit, you determined that the I-9 was missing and completed one immediately, which is why the date of completion is not within the required three days from the date employment began.


Terminate employment if an employee doesn’t meet requirements. If an employee fails to bring documentation within the required timeframe, you may terminate employment based on inability to meet the employment verification requirements. You may choose to rehire them if they present the proper document(s) (and complete a new I-9).


If you conduct an internal audit and determine I-9 forms are missing, inform affected employees immediately. Ask them to bring documents to establish their identity and work authorization the next time they work, and a complete Form I-9.


We’re here to help you through this process, and other labor force issues. Get in touch.

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