Businesses need to understand specific laws to avoid serious legal repercussions. For starters, they should check the eligibility of their employees. After reviewing the eligibility of the workers, employees are to complete an I-9 employment verification form. A business may face various legal penalties for hiring someone without properly assessing their legal documents. This piece investigates the I-9 employment verification form and the legal consequences of failing to follow employment eligibility and verification laws.
I-9 Employment Form
Who should complete the form? The I-9 employment verification form is to be executed by both the employee and the employer. The employee responds to the first section and the employer fills in the second section. What is its importance? The form is necessary for employer verification of workers hired after November 1986.
American employment laws make it illegal to hire unauthorized workers knowingly. On the first day the employee arrives, business owners are required to check his or her documents to ensure the individual is legally allowed to work in the United States. Business owners can give workers up to 3 days from the day they started working to bring proper identification or proof their eligibility to work.
After checking the eligibility of employees, business owners are mandated to finish the I-9 employment verification form, regardless of each employee’s nationality. When businesses fail to perform these measures, they violate federal immigration laws. Each violation calls for paying a fine between $110 -$1,100. Although this fine may not seem much to medium-sized and large businesses, they can prove costly for most small businesses.
Documents that Show You Are Eligible to Work in the United States
For an employer to hire you and finalize the I-9 employment verification form for you, you need to have specific items. The following is a list of some of the items required:
- Unexpired temporary resident card
- Unexpired employment authorization card
- Unexpired reentry permit
- Unexpired refugee travel document
- Expired or unexpired US passport
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
- Unexpired foreign passport with form I-94 showing that your employment authorization is not expired
- Alien registration receipt card having a photograph
- Driver’s license/voter registration card
In short, for you to work legally in the United States, you must meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements. After achieving the eligibility requirements, the employee and employer complete the I-9 employment verification form. As previously mentioned, hiring workers without filling in the I-9 employment verification form may bring business owners grave legal repercussions, including a fine of up to $1,100 for each offense.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison