If you have employees then you have had some dealings with the I-9 form. The I-9 form is a tool to help employers verify that new hires are eligible to work in the United States. It is a federal requirement that employers fill out and retain this form for all new hires. While this seems like a pretty straight forward process, there are some common questions that come up when completing this form.
Do I need to complete an I-9 for Independent Contractors?
No, it is the contracting companies responsibility to collect this information, however, if your contractor is an individual you need to make sure they meet the test to be classified as an independent contractor and are not actually an employee.
Can I choose which documents to accept for verification?
No, the employee can present any acceptable document from the appropriate list for verification. Insisting that an employee provide a specific document could be problematic.
What is my responsibility concerning the authenticity of the documents?
You should physically examine the documents and if they appear to reasonably be genuine and correct for the person presenting them, then you must accept them.
May I accept an expired document?
No, while there are certain documents that can be accepted after expiration with an official extension, the general rule is no.
Can I accept a photocopy?
No, all documents must be original.
These are just a few of the common questions involved with I-9 completion and compliance, it is a good idea to regularly train your HR team members on proper compliance and check for updates to make sure that you are appropriately following the rules. Reach out to our office with any questions or for help with hiring employees.
Sarah E. Holmes is a Philadelphia business attorney and strategist that helps start ups and established businesses looking to expand, protect their assets and increase their profits in an approachable, down-to-earth way. When you're looking for a business lawyer in Philadelphia, the Main Line or New Jersey, we can help.
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