New Form I-9 – be aware of changes to the new form!

December 5, 2016 at 6:36 pm | Posted in discrimination, E-Verify, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, harassment, Harvesting, I9, Immigration, Legal, New employment laws/amendments, retaliation | Leave a comment

A new Form I-9 has been released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, commonly known as USCIS.  The Form I-9 has two goals: to ensure that employers are only hiring individuals who may legally work in the United States–either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization; and, to confirm identity.

The new Form I-9 is dated November 14, 2016 and has an expiration date of August 31, 2019. USCIS has a practice of extending the expiration dates as they work on new forms.  Employers must start using the new version of the Form I-9 on January 22, 2017, but there is no reason not to start using the new Form I-9 now.

There has been change to the storage and retention rules for your previously completed Forms I-9.

The new Form I-9 still has the helpful stop signs to signify when an employee should stop in putting information.  The request for phone number and email is a voluntary one.  One of the big changes is that the full 9 pages of the Form I-9 and instructions is now just the Form I-9 and the list of acceptable documents from List A, or List B and C.

This two page document could result in over $16,000 of fines if completed incorrectly so pay attention, read every line, sign where you need to, and consider reading the M-274 Form I-9 Handbook to better understand what documents are appropriate for providing by employees.

From Hultman Sensenig + Joshi:  If you have not conducted an internal audit of your Form I-9’s, now is a good time to consider doing so as engaging in such proactive measures and making corrections where you can in the legally acceptable way shows a commitment to compliance in case of an ICE audit.  Let us know if we can be of assistance to you for an internal audit.  You will want to be sure you are not engaging in any discrimination at the initial completion of the Form I-9, or in any audit.

 

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Proposed Changes to Form I-9

January 19, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Posted in E-Verify, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, I9, Immigration, Legal, New employment laws/amendments | Leave a comment

Directly from the USCIS.GOV website:

USCIS Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Form I-9

USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register on Nov. 24, 2015, to inform the public of proposed changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The public may provide comments on the proposed changes for 60 days, until Jan. 25, 2016.

Many of the proposed changes to Form I-9 are intended to help reduce technical errors and help customers complete the form on their computer after they have downloaded it from uscis.gov. For instance, the form:

Checks certain fields to ensure information is entered correctly;
Provides additional spaces to enter multiple preparers and translators;
Includes drop-down lists and calendars;
Provides instructions on the screen that users can access to complete each field;
Includes buttons that will allow users to access the instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over;
Provides a dedicated area to enter additional information that employers are currently required to notate in the margins of the form; and
Will generate a quick-response matrix barcode, or QR code, once the form is printed and can be used to streamline audit processes.
Other proposed changes include:

Requiring employees to provide only other last names used in Section 1, rather than all other names used;
Streamlining the certification in Section 1 for certain foreign nationals; and
Separating the instructions from the form to bring the form in line with USCIS’ practices.
Submit a Comment
To view the proposed form and instructions, go to the Form I-9 notice at http://www.regulations.gov. To submit a comment, enter USCIS-2006-0068 in the search box and click the “Comment Now!” button. After completing all the necessary fields, click “Submit Comment.”

After the 60-day period
After the 60-day period ends, USCIS may make changes to the form based on comments received and will publish a second notice in the Federal Register. The public will have an additional 30 days to provide comments on proposed changes. USCIS will notify the public about these comment periods on I-9 Central.

Which Form Should I Use?
Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. The current version of Form I-9 is available on USCIS’ online I-9 resource center at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9central. Employers must continue to use the current version of Form I-9 until the Office of Management and Budget approves the proposed version and USCIS posts it on I-9 Central.

I-9 Central includes information about employer and employee rights and responsibilities, step-by-step instructions for completing the form, and information on acceptable documents for establishing identity and employment authorization. Subscribe to I-9 Central to receive updates and alerts.

Hultman Sensenig + Joshi thoughts to share:  After years of waiting for changes and finally having a revised Form I-9 in March of 2013, the tweaking to the revised Form I-9 continues.  Considering the fines are substantial for failure to accurately complete a Form I-9, paying attention to what USICS wants to change gives employers insight into where the Agency sees problems.  Remember, employers MUST fill out a Form I-9 for employees so this two page form is significant.  

By reading this blog, there is no legal advice being given and no attorney client relationship is being established.  

 

The new Form I-9 is here – along with newly revised M-274 Handbook!

March 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Posted in E-Verify, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, H2-A, I9, Immigration, Legal, New employment laws/amendments | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

It is hard to believe but the U.S. government actually issued a new Form I-9 without ten years of committee meetings to discuss those revisions.  The new Form I-9 is here, effective March 8, 2013, for all employers to begin using.  The questions will continue to roll in about the new format, about what documents to accept, about what pages to keep, and how the new Form I-9 affects internal Form I-9 audits.

The newly revised Form I-9 can be found at:

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

Another surprise is that the Form I-9 Handbook, the M-274, was revised as well – the revised version was released yesterday.  Please print the new M-274 and review it carefully.  This revised version of the M-274 has color photos and better examples of the documents usually provided to employers by non-citizens.

http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf

Follow the instructions carefully and be sure that the form I-9’s you keep have the list of documents on the back of the actual completed portion.

There will be confusion as to how to address concerns.  E-verify will also be affected by the new Form I-9.  Stay posted for updates!

The above is not legal advice nor is this posting the creation of an attorney client relationship between the Sensenig Law Firm and the reader.

The current Form I-9 expires August 31, 2012 – but an extension of the Form has been granted!

August 22, 2012 at 1:22 am | Posted in agriculture, E-Verify, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, H2-A, I9, Immigration, New employment laws/amendments | Leave a comment

Until further notice, employers should continue using the Form I-9 currently available on the forms section of http://www.uscis.gov.  This particular I-9 Form should continue to be used even after the OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012 has passed. The Immigration Service will provide updated information about the new version of the Form I-9 as it becomes available.  We waited well over ten years for the last revision so I am not particularly optimistic that a new version will be issued anytime soon.

Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly-hired employees within 72 hours of commencement of employment to verify the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States.

The H2-A program and E-Verify – what harvesters need to know

January 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Posted in E-Verify, H2-A, Harvesting | Leave a comment

I was recently featured in an article on the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association’s on-line publication regarding the federal H2-A program.  The H2-A program is a guest agricultural employment program that permits a harvester to obtain foreign labor to harvest crops in the United States, if strict eligibility criteria is met. Advance planning to participate in the program is required.

If you would like more information about the program, and for an opinion on the E-Verify System, please go to the following address:

http://www.ffva.com/imispublic/Content/NavigationMenu2/NewsCenter/HarvesterOnline/TradeAssociateMemberUpdate1211/default.htm

With E-Verify being a hot topic in so many states, including Florida, agricultural employers need to assess their needs and ensure a legitimate and legal workforce is available – especially now in Florida when both strawberries and citrus is ripe for picking.

 

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