When you’re a business owner, a sea of governmental regulation awaits. But I-9 compliance, which focuses on employment eligibility verification, keeps rising to the top of the stack.
And with more employers, especially those in the restaurant industry, facing increased scrutiny regarding their hiring practices, compliance is critical.
Let’s discuss how to comply with this particular mandate and why it’s so important to the livelihood of your restaurant.
Intro to I-9
Form I-9 is used for “verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.” First enacted in 1986, the program is monitored and enforced by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS.
Who needs to complete the I-9?
A form must be completed for each and every individual who is employed within the United States. Employers are responsible for ensuring a completed form is on file; however, the form requires input from both employers and employees.
Non-compliance can lead to severe fines and penalties, beginning at several hundred dollars and incrementally increasing to the tens of thousands per violation.
When does the form need to be completed?
There is a strict timeline to follow when filing Form I-9.
Employees must complete Section I of the form no later than the first day of employment.
Next, employers should complete Section II, which must occur within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment.
As part of Section II, the employer must obtain legible copies of specific employee documents. There are three lists of documents – A, B, and C. The employer is required to do the following:
- Physically examine one document from List A; or
- Examine one document from List B and one document from List C; and
- Record document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date for each document reviewed.