Beginning this Sunday, January 22, 2017, employers will be required to use the most current version of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service Form I-9, the form employers are required to use to verify the employment authorization of each individual they hire. While the new form has co-existed with the 2013 version since the newer one was introduced in November, 2016, use of the new form only will be mandatory beginning on January 22. Failure to use the new form can expose an employer to monetary fines, which have recently nearly doubled, to a maximum of over $2,000.
Among other changes, the new version requires that preparers specifically mark inapplicable fields in the form as such, rather than leaving them blank, and that employees who did not need a preparer or translator for section 1 of the form check a box indicating so. The new form can be accessed on the USCIS website.
Employers are not required to complete the new Form I-9 for employees for whom there is already a properly completed I-9 on file, except where reverification otherwise applies – for example, at the scheduled expiration of a work-authorization document that the employer accepted when the previous I-9 was completed. Employers should also be cautious of employment discrimination liability for unnecessary reverification.
For questions about the new form, or other employment or immigration law matters, please contact a member of Pullman & Comley’s Labor & Employment Section.