I-9 Compliance

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Secretary-Treasurer, David Rooks
David Rooks

My name is David F. Rooks, I have been a Letter Carrier in Bristol since May 2003. I became involved in the Union early in my career. I started as an Alternate Steward for 10 years and then Steward for 6 years. I would like to thank Michael Willadsen for asking me to step up to be the Director of City Delivery in 2019. In April 2021 I moved over to the Secretary-Treasurer position. I received training for this position from National and in training it was stressed how important it is to be in compliance with the law.

We all know that finding the right people to serve our members is critical to our success. But be mindful that the lack of compliance with the employment verification form I-9 could represent a serious financial and legal threat to our branch. In recent years, the federal government has escalated its efforts to oversee and enforce I-9 compliance through workplace audits and raids, and the I-9 is more than just a compulsory on-boarding employment form. It is a legal document requiring every employer to verify their employees’ immigration status under penalty of perjury. Noncompliance with those verification requirements is a civil violation and can result in heavy fines and penalties.

What should you do?

Section 1 of I-9 must be completed by each employee by their first day of work (the period of time after the job offer has been accepted and before the end of the employee’s first day).

Section 2 must be completed by the employer within three business days of the date of hire.

The instruction document and list of acceptable documents (page 3 of the Form I-9) should be made available to employees at the time they complete Section 1 of the form.

Employees are free to choose which legal documents they submit to establish their identity and eligibility to work in the United States. They must present original, unexpired documents in person to the company representative (a branch officer or other designated employee who is completing Section 2 of the I-9). I-9s should be stored in a secure location separate from personnel files. If photocopies of documents are made, they should be retained with the I-9s and presented during an investigation or audit by an authorized agency. Completed I-9s must be retained for as long as an individual is employed. I-9s for employees who have separated must be retained for three years after the date of hire (first day of work for pay) or one year after the date employment ends, whichever comes later. Instances in which completing Form I-9 varies from the norm:

Rehires: A new Form I-9 does not need to be completed for people rehired within three years of completing a prior Form I-9. Branches can instead update the prior Form I-9 by confirming that the employment eligibility document originally presented remains valid. If it does, you can merely record the rehire date in Section 3 of the form. However, if a new version of Form I-9 has been issued, the employee must provide documents from the current list of acceptable documents, and you must complete the current version of Form I-9 and retain it with the previously completed I-9.

David Rooks

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