Okay, that didn’t actually happen, but absent the title, would you have read a blog post about a new government form? In any event, we will try to keep it brief: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new Form I-9 on March 8, 2013. Although employers should begin using the new form right away, older forms dated February 2, 2009 and August 7, 2009 will be accepted until May 7, 2013. The revision date can be located on the lower left corner of the form.
The new Form I-9 is designed to be easier to use. Indeed, there have been improvements in headings and in the instructional language helping employers to understand what documents are acceptable. The improved instructions and clarity come at a cost; the new form is substantially longer than the prior version.
Newly hired employees must complete the Form I-9 by no later than the first day of employment. The Department of Homeland Security requires that completed forms be retained for 3 years following the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.
Employers should use the occasion of the new form to review all of their Form I-9 practices—U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has reportedly conducted five times as many audits in the last three years as compared to prior periods and has collected significant fines for I-9 violations (over $10 million in 2011 alone). Which is, in fact, almost enough to cause a riot.
This blog is presented under protest by the law firm of Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP. It is essentially the random thoughts and opinions of someone who lives in the trenches of the war that often is employment law–he/she may well be a little shell-shocked. So if you are thinking “woohoo, I just landed some free legal advice that will fix all my problems!”, think again. This is commentary people, a sketchy overview of some current legal issue with a dose of humor, but commentary nonetheless; as if Dennis Miller were a lawyer…and still mildly amusing. No legal advice here; you would have to pay real US currency for that (unless you are my mom, and even then there are limits). But feel free to contact us with your questions and comments—who knows, we might even answer you. And if you want to spread this stuff around, feel free to do so, but please keep it in its present form (‘cause you can’t mess with this kind of poetry). Big news: Copyright 2013. All rights reserved; yep, all of them.