Whenever you bring a new employee on board, you have to complete an I-9 form. The document confirms that the new hire is eligible to work in the United States, making it a critical part of the hiring process.
Plus, I-9 noncompliance comes with severe consequences. An I-9 form that isn’t completed correctly can result in a hefty fine, and being a repeat offender can result in additional legal ramifications.
Luckily, protecting your workplace from I-9 hiring issues doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are some tips that can help you make sure that you are fully compliant.
Make I-9 Verifications Part of the Onboarding Process
A formalized onboarding process can ensure that all necessary documentation is completed promptly. By making the I-9 form part of the standard procedure, you increase the odds that it will be handled within the required timeframe.
Section 1 of the I-9 has to be completed no later than the new hire’s first day, but no earlier than when the candidate accepts a formal job offer. For Section 2, you have until the employee’s third day of paid employment. However, you want to verify their identification documents on day one of them working for pay, just in case they don’t stay for the full three days. Consider your onboarding process and work the I-9 verification procedures in based on those requirements.
Train Your Staff
If you want to protect your company, it’s wise to train any employees who complete I-9s. Not only do you need to make sure that they know how to complete the form, but you also want to review how to tell real identification documents from fake ones. That way, they are more likely to notice if a new hire isn’t providing them with legal documentation. Plus, the number of errors on the I-9s may be reduced.
Create a Calendar to Track Re-Verifications
If you have employees with employment authorization documents that expire, create alerts on an I-9 verification calendar that remind you to complete the re-verification process. By setting a notification several weeks in advance of the actual expiration date, you can touch base with the employee about the needed documentation and schedule an appointment to complete Section 3 of the I-9 to remain compliant.
Recordkeeping and Auditing
Every completed I-9 has to remain on file while the employee is on your payroll. Additionally, the original I-9 needs to be filed for at least three years after the date of hire or one year after the worker’s employment ends, whichever is longer.
By keeping your I-9s in one place, you can decrease the odds that one will be lost. You’ll know exactly where you need to look if you need to update one or conduct an audit as well. Storing copies electronically can also be beneficial, though you have to keep the originals, too.
Conducting regular audits is useful for several reasons. First, you can review the documents for errors and handle corrections quickly, if necessary. Second, you can confirm that the I-9s you need are on file. In both cases, you are increasing the odds that you are and will remain fully compliant.
Ultimately, each of the tips listed above can help protect your workplace. If you’d like to learn more, the team at The Advance Group can help. Contact us to discuss your questions with one of our staff members today, and let us help find your next great employee.