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Employers Must Use New I-9 Form Starting May 1, 2020

All U.S. employers must verify identity and work authorization for each employee hired within the U.S., including citizens and non-citizens, using “Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification” (I-9 Form). Starting May 1, 2020, businesses nationwide must begin using the revised I-9 Form (rev. 10/21/2019).

Section 2 of the revised form requires employers to physically verify the employee’s original documentation to determine their legality. This revision must be done within the first three business days of the employee’s first day of work.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that employers and workplaces operating remotely due to COVID-19 may follow the DHS news release which permits such employers to perform I-9 documentation inspections remotely over video link, fax or email, etc. so long as they obtain, inspect and retain copies of the documents within three business days of hire and enter “COVID-19” in the Form’s Additional Information field.

Employers who perform inspections remotely must also provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and work-from-home policy for each employee.

A physical document inspection must take place after normal operations resume, at which time the date of the physical inspection and who conducted it should also be recorded in the Additional Information field.

Please review these government-issued FAQs for more information about COVID-19 related Form I-9 compliance.

Employers who fail to use the revised form by the May 1 deadline may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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For more information, please contact Tim BowlesCindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Cindy Bamforth

April 25, 2020