by Kathryn Simpson
Are you an employer? Have you hired any new employees lately? Do you have a completed a Form I-9 for every new hire?
Finding and hiring qualified employees for your business can be a long and involved process. Once you do hire a new employee, be sure to complete all the legal requirements for the hiring process by filling out Form I-9. Failing to properly complete a Form I-9 and securing the appropriate identity documents is a violation of federal law. Employers who violate the law may be subject to civil fines, criminal penalties or debarment from government contracts.
All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States, whether those individuals are citizens or noncitizens. Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete Form I-9. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization.
The employee must present the employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9.
Form I-9 must be retained and stored by the employer either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. The form must also be available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials.
More information about properly completing Form I-9 is available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service website, which includes a link to a downloadable guide. Learn more at: http://www.uscis.gov/i-9.