Subtitle: 
When hiring someone, make sure to complete Federal Form I-9 and ensure that the individual possesses documentation establishing his or her authorization to work in the U.S. Failure to do so may result in serious penalties.
Important Tip As an employer, establish consistent procedures for ensuring that Form I-9 requirements are met with respect to all employees, and that you maintain these records for the required duration. Actively updating these records on a rolling basis is the best way to make sure no mistakes are made, that you are in compliance with the law, and always prepared should the government ever audit your business.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act prohibits employers from hiring a person who is not authorized to work in the United States.  Employers who violate this law risk civil and criminal penalties, as well as imprisonment, depending on the nature of the violation.  If you are about to hire an employee, federal law requires you to verify that individual’s eligibility for employment through the use of Form I-9.  In most cases, this verification must be completed within three business days of the date employment begins.

Form I-9 requires prospective employees to certify that they are authorized to work in the United States, and to furnish supporting documentation.  Employers, in turn, are required to certify under penalty of perjury that they have examined those documents and made sure that, to the best of their knowledge, the individual is authorized to work in the United States.  When examining a prospective employee’s documentation of eligibility to work in the U.S., employers cannot specify which documents they will accept from an employee.  Form I-9 contains a specific list of acceptable documents, any of which the employee may choose to furnish for inspection by the employer.

The completed Form I-9 is not filed with any government agency.  Rather, employers must retain it and be prepared to make it available for inspection by U.S. Government officials should they conduct an audit.  The form must be retained for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.

 

Additional Information
Important Tip: 
As an employer, establish consistent procedures for ensuring that Form I-9 requirements are met with respect to all employees, and that you maintain these records for the required duration. Actively updating these records on a rolling basis is the best way to make sure no mistakes are made, that you are in compliance with the law, and always prepared should the government ever audit your business.
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