Employers are required to prepare and retain I-9 Forms for employees. The purpose – to verify an employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States. The New I-9 Forms should make them easier to complete and minimize mistakes that often result in significant monetary penalties.
The biggest change – the new forms can be completed electronically. Embedded question mark icons in the information fields provide specific instructions. Most importantly, the “Click to Finish” button does not allow the form to be finalized until each required section is complete.
Other significant changes:
- Drop-down menus and calendars make completing the forms easier.
- Instructions are linked and no longer clutter the Form.
- Employers can have multiple preparers – making it easier to complete the forms within the three-day window after an employee commences employment.
Although a new form, remember:
- The Form must still be printed and physically signed and dated by the employee and employer; and
- Incomplete or inaccurate forms will result in substantial fines – up to $2,156 per incomplete or incorrect I-9.
- I-9 Forms must be kept for as long as the individual works for the company. Once employment ends, the I-9 must be retained for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is longer.
Employers must start using the New I-9 Forms effective January 22, 2017.