I-9 Review

Q: What can Margolis Law Firm do for me concerning the I-9 form?

The Margolis Law Firm can review all of your I-9 forms, making sure that all the employment information is accurate and current (an I-9 Audit). Furthermore, The Margolis Law Firm will provide you with a report of your company’s I-9 review and provide recommendations to improve record keeping in the future. We will help avoid potential problems with the U.S. Department of Labor and educate personnel on the importance of accurate I-9 record keeping.


Q: Do I need to complete an I-9 for everyone who applies for a job with my company?
No, you need to complete the I-9 only for people you actually hire. For purposes of the I-9 rules, a person is ‘hired’ when he or she begins to work for you for wages or other compensation.


Q: For whom must employers complete Form I-9?
Every U.S. employer must have a Form I-9 in its files for each new employee, unless the employee:


‧ Was hired before November 7, 1986, and has been continuously employed by the same employer;
‧ Is providing domestic services in a private household that are sporadic, irregular or intermittent; or
‧ Is providing services for the employer as an independent contractor.


Q: What should be done with Forms I-9 after they are completed?
Unlike tax forms, for example, I-9 forms are not filed with the U.S. government. The requirement is for employers to maintain I-9 records in their own files for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date the employee’s employment is terminated, whichever is later. This means that Form I-9 needs to be retained for all current employees, as well as terminated employees whose records remain within the retention period. Form I-9 records may be stored at the worksite to which they relate or at a company headquarters (or other) location, but the storage choice must make it possible for the documents to be transmitted to the worksite within three days of an official request for production of the documents for inspection.


Q: What are electronic I-9’s and how are they more convenient?
On October 30, 2004 President Bush signed into legislation a law that allows employers to electronically complete and store employment eligibility verification (I-9) forms. Maintaining sufficient storage space to accommodate hard copies of I-9 forms had become a significant document management challenge for many companies, especially in industries with high employee turnover rates. The new law, “Improvements to Employment Verification System,” now permits the use of handwritten or electronic signatures in completing the I-9 forms and allows employers to store the I-9s electronically, should they choose to do so.


Electronic I-9s are convenient because they eliminate negligent or purposeful data omission, data entered into wrong fields, forms that not signed or dated, mismatched social security numbers, the improper acceptance combination of documents and the untimely completion of forms.