Leadership Exchange - April/May 2013 - (Page 14)
THE I-9 GETS A MAKE-OVER
er. The two pages can be reprinted double-sided to avoid los-
ing a page. The instructions are now five pages and the List
Gonzalez & Harris
With the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act,
since November 6, 1986, all employers throughout the U.S. – small
or large - have been obliged to complete a form I-9 to record identity
and work authorization documents for every new hire. The govern-
ment has released six major editions of the I-9 form, and on March 8,
2013, it released yet another version (http://www.uscis.gov/files/
form/i-9.pdf) as well as a newly minted M-274 (http://www.uscis.
gov/files/form/m-274.pdf), Handbook for Employers, Guidance for
Completing Form I-9. With this 7th edition, does practice make perfect? Yes and no – you be the judge.
of Acceptable Documents has changed slightly in format but
not in content. Although there is a requirement to provide
the worker with the list of documents and instructions, lami2.
This article will describe some of the new features of the I-9, will
discuss unresolved questions and, most importantly, will counsel
nating the two pages of employee instructions and the list
of acceptable documents for review by the employee should
satisfy this obligation.
The new form may be used as of March 8, 2013, but employ-
ers have a grace period and can continue to use the older
form (08/07/09Y edition) for a period of time. Beginning
May 7, 2013, the new I-9 must be used or penalties can be
The I-9 form is available in Spanish for use only in Puerto
Rico; however, laminating the Spanish version and providing
it as a guide to workers is a good idea.
employers to focus on select employer responsibilities. Unless addressed properly, common I-9 violations can result in ICE (Immigra-
tion and Customs Enforcement) fines ranging from $110 to $1,100
for each improper completion of the I-9 or fines issued by the Office
of Special Counsel for immigration-related discrimination stemming
from over documenting the I-9 or improper insistence on specific
WHY IS THE PROPER COMPLETION AND MAINTENANCE
A correctly completed I-9 form is an employer’s affirmative de-
OF AN I-9 IMPORTANT?
fense to a charge of knowingly employing unauthorized workers.
However, if the government can prove that the employer knew that
the documents recorded on the I-9 are fraudulent, or if an employer
continues to employ someone whose work authorization document
has lapsed, the affirmative defense is lost. And, with the availability of E-Verify to screen the legitimacy of documents (http://www.
dhs.gov/e-verify), ICE will increasingly hold employers to a higher
standard and will investigate more thoroughly when it discovers the
presence of numerous unauthorized workers.
The I-9 form has been reformatted and expanded. It is now a
WHAT ARE THE KEY FEATURES OF THE NEW I-9?
two page form. Page one must be completed by the new hire
and the Preparer or Translator who assisted in the completion of the form; page two must be completed by the employ-
Employee Section One: Still provides four choices to indicate
one’s status: 1) U.S. citizen; 2) Non-citizen national; 3) Per-
manent resident and; 4) Alien authorized to work. However,
since employers are held responsible for improper completion of both the employee and employer sections, careful attention must be paid to Section One, particularly the fourth
category. Many employers have workforces comprised only
of the first and third categories. Employees who are not permanent residents but have temporary work authorization
will check the fourth box. Only certain refugees and asylees
would check “N/A” for the expiration date; they might present an unrestricted social security card and government ID.
However, if they present an Employment Authorization Card
(EAD, also referred to as a “work permit”), an expiration date
would be recorded. Other categories of employees checking
Greater Los Angeles Leadership Exchange
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Leadership Exchange - April/May 2013
Leadership Exchange - April/May 2013
Table of Contents
2013 Event Calendar
ALA Social Media
Community Connection News
The I-9 Gets a Make-Over
ALA Management Encyclopedia
Accept the Challenge to Become a Green Lawyer
CLM Corner / Crossword Puzzle
CLM Study Session
CLM - Steve Wingert
GLA Making News
Volunteer of Year
Annual Chapter Meeting
A Law Firm's Marketing Success Story
GLA ALA Essay Contest
March Luncheon Recap
CLM Crossword Puzzle Answers
Member/BP Mixer Recap
Board of Directors
Region 6 Officers
Board Crossover Meeting
Does Your Law Firm's Technology Meet Ethical Requirements?
ALA Past President's Reception
New Members & Member Updates
Members In Transition
2013 Compensation and Benefits Survey
Business Partner Spotlight
Leadership Exchange - April/May 2013