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Form I-9: Requirements for Employers

Feeling unsure about federal requirements for your employees' Form I-9s? This guide from Gotcha Covered HR consultant Doug Hilbun, PHR, SHRM-CP can help.


Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must properly complete a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. Both employees and employers must complete the form.


On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present their employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form.


Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers. Never dispose of a current employee’s Form I-9; you must keep it for as long as the employee works for you, and for a certain amount of time after they stop working for you. This requirement applies even if the employee ends employment shortly after you hired them. Federal regulations state you must retain a Form I-9 for each person you hire for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.


The minimum fine per individual for paperwork or technical violations increased from $230 to $234, while the maximum fine increased from $2,292 to $2,332. Fines for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers went up as well.


If you are not sure if your Form I-9s meet federal requirements or have any questions about properly maintaining your company’s Form I-9s, Gotcha Covered HR, LLC can help. I can be reached at: doug@gotchacoveredhr.com.



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