I-9 Best Practices
What are the best practices to prevent being prosecuted for I-9 violations?
Employers should generally consider the following as a starting point when developing your company's I-9 employment verification program.
- Do you perform voluntary audits of all or a representative sample of retained I-9s to measure compliance practices?
- Have you established a tickler system for the timely re-verification of employment eligibility for foreign-national employees who have time-limited work authorization?
- Do you take prompt action if notified by the Social Security Administration that a discrepancy exists between employer-provided records on specific workers and the SSA's own data (the so-called SSA "no-match letter")?
- What kinds of files do you maintain in your I-9 records?
- Do you participate in the Basic Pilot Program (now E-Verify) or the IMAGE program?
- Have you set up a system for handling future I-9s?
- Do you make sure all new hires complete I-9s in person before a company official (in order to confirm identity) or an authorized agent (with respect to whom the employer must take full responsibility for any I-9 mistakes or omissions)?
- Do you engage in regular training for employees handling I-9 completion?
- Do you have an internal training program, with annual updates, on how to manage completion of Form I-9 (Employee Eligibility Verification Form), how to detect fraudulent use of documents in the I-9 process?
- Do you conduct annual I-9 audits by an external auditing firm or a trained employee not otherwise involved in the I-9 and electronic verification process?
- Do you have a self-reporting procedure for reporting to ICE any violations or discovered deficiencies?
- Do you have a Tip Line for employees to report activity relating to the employment of unauthorized aliens, and a protocol for responding to employee tips?
- Have you established policies (in consultation with employment law counsel) for future compliance and ongoing voluntary audits?
- Do you have a policy on how to handle ICE on-site appearances, worksite enforcement or Wage and Hour inspector visits?
- Do you have a designated person to meet enforcement personnel when ICE comes on site?
- Is there a set chain of command for responding to ICE worksite enforcement?