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Avoid these common mistakes when handling I-9 files

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2022 | Immigration Law

Employment eligibility verification is a mandatory process for all employers. It is used to ascertain an individual’s identity and legal authorization to work as a paid employee in the country and applies to everyone. It means that for every new person you hire, you must complete Form I-9, which is a formal documentation of their status.

There are penalties to businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers, including fines and even criminal penalties. You may also lose out on potential business deals like government contracts. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your business is I-9 compliant by avoiding these frequent pitfalls.

Letting untrained employees oversee the process

Everyone involved in I-9 verification needs to be well trained in, among other things, completing the I-9 forms, verifying the documents, or even detecting fraud.

Dismissing I-9 audits as unnecessary

Regular internal I-9 compliance checks can help you seal any loopholes you may have in your organization, and you should not disregard them. But, importantly, ensure that the parties tasked to conduct such audits are well-versed in what the law says.

Accepting fraudulent documents

The buck stops with the employer regarding the verification of documents submitted by a new employee. You cannot claim that you were unaware of their originality, yet you were supposed to conduct due diligence.

Leaving out important information

Any information requested should not be omitted. For instance, dates are crucial details to leave out on I-9 forms. They could be used as reference points in case any issues come up. Do not forget to indicate dates on any changes made to the I-9 documents.

As an employer, I-9 compliance can save you a lot in terms of time and money, especially with the increased scrutiny from the immigration department. Having a system that works efficiently in your organization is probably the best place to start.