The Annual I-9 Audit
Earlier this month, we discussed the importance of conducting a mid-year review of documents, internal policies, and organizational processes that your company has in place to ensure compliance, efficiency, and best practices.
On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new, updated
version of the Form I-9. In November of 2016, the USCIS released an updated form with substantive changes; the updates in this version primarily pertain to re-naming and re-numbering.
The release of this updated document provides employers with a perfect opportunity to conduct a mid-year audit of their I-9 files to ensure that these forms are properly completed and stored. At a minimum, yearly file audits are an important means of ensuring that employers are compliant with new and existing laws. In addition, the manner in which a company maintains its filing system can reduce the risk of liability from employee lawsuits.
As a general rule of thumb when conducting these audits, make certain that the following key factors are reviewed:
- All I-9 forms are complete. Employee and employer have filled out their required sections and the required information has been provided by the employee. Should any issues be discovered, correct them immediately.
- All I-9 forms from terminated employees have been pulled from the I-9 binder and included in a separate I-9 file.
- I-9 forms that have been stored past the required retention periods (3 years after the date of hire for current employees; 1 year after termination for former employees) are properly destroyed.
With regards to the recently released form, employers are required to have the Form I-9 completed for each newly hired employee to verify their identity and employment eligibility to work in the United States. Employers are permitted to continue using the previous version of the Form I-9, with a revision date of 11/14/2016, through September 17, 2017. No later than September 18, 2017 all employers MUST use the current, revised form (with the revision date of 7/17/17) for each newly hired employee or any employee who requires verification of identity and employment eligibility.
The release of this new, updated form does not mean employers are required to redo all previously completed Form I-9s. You can download a hard copy and can also access the fillable version of the new form here.
HRCentral specializes in conducting thorough and efficient file audits and reviews. Contact us today to schedule an audit of your existing files, and to establish file maintenance processes that will ensure your organization’s personnel and I-9 files are compliant and effectively maintained.