Form I-9 Verification Flexibilities
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recognized that many employers would begin operating remotely. As a result, in March 2020, DHS and ICE announced that flexibilities would be provided related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, compliance. Since the first announcement in March 2020, the DHS and ICE have announced ongoing extensions of the flexibilities, with the most recent extension lasting until March 31, 2021.
Through the end of March, employers who are operating remote may continue to defer the physical review of documents needed to complete Section 2 of the Form I-9. However, employers must still review the documents and complete Section 2 promptly. Employers must inspect Section 2 documents remotely, using, for example, a video link, fax, or email. Employers must also obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days of the first date of employment for purposes of completing Section 2. Employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field.
Once normal operations resume, all employees who were onboarded using remote verification must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Once the documents have been physically inspected, employers should add “documents physically examined” with the inspection date to the Section 2 Additional Information field on the Form I-9 or to section 3 as appropriate.
Employers who use the remote verification option must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee. It is important to note that the Form I-9 verification flexibilities may not be used for physically present employees at a worksite location. Therefore, employers must continue to follow the standard rule of examining Section 2 documents in person for employees who are not working remotely.
If you have questions, please contact one of our HR Consultants at 1-888-622-6460.
2021 Workplace Posters
As a friendly reminder, employers need to check their workplace posters to ensure they are current. This year, there have been many state labor law updates and even more at the city level. Most of these updates involve minimum wage increases.
To order new posters, please contact MBA’s Client Service Department at 1-888-622-6460.