OSC Discourages Pre-Populating Section 1 When Using Electronic I-9 Programs


The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices ("OSC") recently issued an opinion letter discouraging the practice of pre-populating Section 1 of the Form I-9 when utilizing electronic I-9 programs. The OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act including unfair documentary practices during the Form I-9 process. While some electronic I-9 programs offer the option to pre-populate the employee information required in Section 1 of the Form I-9 from information previously obtained from the employee through the job application process, OSC discourages this practice for a variety of anti-discriminatory reasons including the likelihood that inaccurate or outdated information will be entered into Section 1 and then into an E-Verify query resulting in a mismatch. OSC also states that employers who rely on previously gathered information may fail to provide employees with limited English proficiency translation or interpretation assistance to ensure the accuracy of Section 1 and to assist the employee in understanding the documents requested in Section 2. 

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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