New Form I-9’s!

Mark your calendars! As you know, all employers must use a Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment.

The new Form I-9 is now available for use and employers must use this new version as of January 22, 2017. This means that for anyone hired on or after January 22, 2017, you must use the new form.  You should not require current employees to re-verify (unless there is a legally required reason to do so).

Go through your “new hire packets.”  All blank versions of the older Form I-9 should be destroyed – and any links on computers changed.

The new form is an example of “more, not less” – more pages! More instructions! The person at your company tasked with the power (okay, the responsibility) of completing the form should pour a nice cup of coffee and read them through – there are some subtle, but important, changes.

For example, in a move to protect privacy, individuals will only need to provide other last names used (if any) – not former first names.

Subtler changes are that Section 1 now asks foreign national employees to provide either their Form I-94 number or foreign passport information, not both. And Section 2 has been enlarged with space to enter information that used to be squeezed into the margins – such as Temporary Protected Status extensions, Optional Practical Training for STEM student extensions, H-1B portability, etc.

And. . .keep in mind that here in California, protections for employees are stronger than other states.  It is unlawful for an employer to request different or additional documents than are required for the Form I-9, to refuse to honor documents that appear genuine on their face, to refuse to honor documents or work authorization based upon the specific status or term of that work authorization, and to attempt to re-investigate or re-verify an incumbent employee’s authorization to work using one of the above methods.

Good luck!

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