Here is a common situation. You were recently hired to handle human resources and during your review of employee files and forms, you discover errors on the existing I9 forms. There are all types of errors, such as incomplete I9s, unsigned I9s, incorrect documents used in the employers section, etc… What do you do? Complete all new I9s? Ignore it?
Well, you are in luck because in late December 2015, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the issuance of “Joint Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits.” You can download the 6-page guidance document from either the ICE website here or from the Office of Special Counsel. Here are some important tips from the enforcement agency:
- To avoid discrimination claims, review all I9s and not just a few.
- When deficiency is identified, the employee should be notified in private – and provide them with a copy of the deficient I9.
- An employer may not correct errors or omissions in Section 1. If an employer discovers an error or omission in Section 1 of an employee’s Form I-9, the employer should ask the employee to correct the error. Draw a line through the incorrect information , enter the correct information and then initial and date the correction (or added information).
- If the employee is no longer working for the employer, the employer should attach to the existing form a signed and dated statement identifying the error or omission and explaining why corrections could not be made (e.g., because the employee no longer works for the employer).
- Employers can correct information in Section 2 (or 3) using the same steps identified in number 3 above.
- If an I9 is missing, or parts were left completely blank, the employer should complete a new I9 form (whatever sections need to be done), then the Employers staples the new one to the old one, together with a signed memo explaining the corrective action taken.
Read more guidance by downloading the above guidance from the Department of Justice.