The New Form I-9 What Employers Should Expect and Prepare For by: Bonnie Hungerford, JD, MA HRIR Why Worry? “It’s just a simple form.” “We didn’t hire any illegals, so we are fine.” “We’ll never get audited.” Why Worry? In 2011: 2,496 I-9 audits were conducted Criminally arrested 221 employers Issued 385 Final Orders for $10.4+ million in fines Why Worry? Because a seemingly minor mistake can be extremely costly… Why Worry? I have yet to see a perfect audit! Current Status of the Form I-9 Current What version recently expired (8/31/2012) is an Employer to do? Continue to use current form (even though expired) Continue checking the USCIS website for the updated form New Form in the Works Back in May, during the 60-day commenting period between April and May regarding proposed changes to Form I-9, USCIS received over 6,200 comments regarding its proposed changes to the form. Based on those comments, USCIS has made additional substantive changes. Second comment period ended Sept. 21st. Still in draft form Overview of the Proposed Changes The 1-page form is now 2 pages Total packet is now 9 pages (compared to 5 pages) Slight changes/clarification to List of Acceptable Documents Design is very different Additional information requested Wording changes throughout the form Section 1: Old Section 1: New Now, all of Section 1 takes up one full page. Section 1: New Attestation: page moved to the middle of the first Section 1: New Preparer/Translator of the first page section now at the bottom Section 2: Old Section 2: New Now on second page Section 2: New Section 3: Old Section 3: New List of Acceptable Documents: Old List of Acceptable Documents: New Changes in the Instructions Section 1 Should never be completed before job offer acceptance PO Boxes cannot be used Only border commuters from Canada and Mexico can use an international address. Email address and phone number are optional. Changes in the Instructions Section 2 If employer participates in E-Verify, the List B document must include a photograph Must physically examine each original document The examiner of the documents and the employee must both be physically present Clear instructions on acceptance of receipts If an employer keeps photocopies of documents, it must present the photocopies during an audit. Best Practices: What Should HR Professionals Do? Keep eye out for new I-9 Carefully review the proposed Form If using a third party, contact them to ensure they are fully aware of proposed changes Once new form is published, conduct extensive I-9 training for all employees who complete the I-9 for your company Review and update all I-9 policies to ensure compliance Internal Audits of Forms I-9 Getting Started Review I-9 Handbook for Employers and all other guidance Compile list of all current employees and their dates of hire Compile list of all former employees going back 3 years, including the date of hire and date of termination Gather all I-9s Internal Audit Determine which I-9s are past their retention deadline and shred Review each I-9 to determine errors Determine which is the best way to correct the errors on each I-9 (either on the I-9 or creating a new I-9) Depends on the error Corrections Communication to employees Set timeframes for corrections Make copies of I-9s that need corrections Make corrections on the copy, in different colored ink Initial and date all corrections Draft internal audit memo to binder If you don’t have it already, prepare retention chart for each I-9. Conduct training for I-9 managers Common Pitfalls Expired form No date on employee signature Failure to complete section 2 Incomplete document names or missing information Too many documents No date of hire Employer pre-signing form Backdating White-out Common Pitfalls Failure to accurately calculate the retention deadline The later of: 3 yrs from date of hire; OR 1 yr from date of termination. DOH DOT 3 yr. DOH 1 yr. DOT Retention 02/01/2007 06/01/2011 02/01/2010 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2010 06/01/2011 05/01/2013 06/01/2012 05/01/2013 Best Practices: Establishing a Culture of Compliance Obtain buy-in of executives through a business impact analysis Conduct a thorough investigation of current state of I-9s and polices Work with attorney or expert on remediation efforts Establish a regular training program Conduct annual I-9 audits!!! Keep abreast of ICE guidance Form I-9 Resources M-274 Handbook for Employers I-9 Central: www.uscis.gov Thank You! Questions?