Each I-9 Form Error Can Cost Up To $1,400

Per the Immigration Reform and Control Act, all employers must have their employees complete an I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  It’s also important to send in a W-2 Form or 1099 Form.  All HRI Members can access the I-9 Form in Answers >> Onboarding >> Validate the Right to Work in the U.S.  Employees are required to provide documentation as to their eligibility to work in the U.S.  The documents an employer can accept are on page two of the form.  It is important that you keep completed I-9’s and supporting documentation in a binder separate from personnel files and locked for safe keeping.  Although the act does not require employers to make a copy of the Form I-9 documents, federal officers have commented that they prefer to see a copy of the documents when performing audits.  Having the copies available can go a long way to show that an employer has complied with the act’s verification process in good faith.

Some common offenses are:

  • Failure to properly complete an I-9
  • Knowingly hiring, continuing to employ, or contacting to obtain the services of a person without employment validation
  • Providing or knowingly accepting false social security cards
  • Pattern and practice of I-9 compliance failure

Your Organization can protect itself by:

  • Provide someone to read and/or explain the I-9 Form to applicants/employees who are unable to read or understand the form
  • Remember to have the person who assisted the applicant/employee complete the preparer/translator section of the I-9 Form
  • Require applicants who are citizens and nationals of the U.S. to complete the I-9 Form and present the required documents
  • Don’t accept photocopies of documents; employees/applicants must present original documents

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