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The End of I-9 Compliance Flexibility

Avoiding Costly Mistakes: Complying with the New I-9 Document Verification Rules in 2023

Sometimes it feels like the aftershock associated with the pandemic will never end.  Just as we are settling into the new normal way of work, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) comes in with a new set of regulations regarding the required completion of the I-9 Form.  This one goes into effect August 1, 2023 and you have until August 30, 2023 to ensure compliance of the updated regulations.

Who is impacted?

This part is easy.  If you answer yes to the following, you must comply!

Are you an employer who hired W-2 employees between March 19, 2020 – August 1, 2023?
Did you remotely verify employee I-9 documents?  

If you answered yes to the above, action is needed.  During the pandemic, the DHS put temporary flexibilities in place that allowed employers to verify employees’ I-9 documents via Zoom, or some other electronic medium.  That flexibility has ended.

Employers must go back and physically inspect documents for all those employees hired during that time, IF the original documents were inspected virtually.

Mastering I-9 Compliance: The Ins and Outs of Document Verification

That may sound like a scary and possibly overwhelming proposition, but we can help make it easy.  Here are a few common scenarios to consider:

➡️ Challenge: Your hired employee still works remotely, in a location that is not conducive to having your company inspect the documents.
➡️ Solution:  Use an authorized agent to complete the physical inspection.  The authorized agent may be any responsible adult near the employee that is able to follow the instructions that you will provide for physical inspection.

➡️ Challenge: The employee that you hired remotely is no longer with your company. 
➡️ Solution: No physical inspection is required.  Notate the employee’s departure date in the ‘Additional Information’ section of the I-9.

➡️Challenge: The documents that the employee initially provided are now expired. 
➡️Solution: No action is needed if the documents were valid at the time the employee initially presented them to you, you are in the clear.

We know, it doesn’t sound very easy

You may be feeling that the solutions referenced above are not all that easy.  We understand, our small business clients have enough on their plate without having to go back and re-do work that was done during the pandemic.  But the fact is, ensuring compliance with I-9 and other employment law complexities isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

Many companies over-hired during the blitz of 2021-2022 which means it could be an even bigger challenge.  Unfortunately, the August 30 deadline is set for re-verification while new guidance continues to unfold.  The one thing we know is that compliance is required for all employers, regardless of size.

The good news is that we can help! Hire Ventures is currently managing this compliance requirement for several clients through our HR Fractional Service as well as on a project basis.  We would be happy to help you audit your I-9s and get you compliant before the approaching deadline.  

I-9 Compliance

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