Retaining I-9 Forms
Unlike tax Forms, for example, Forms I-9 are not filed with the U.S. government. You must maintain I-9 records in your own files for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date the employee’s employment is terminated, whichever is later.
This means that Form I-9 needs to be retained for all current employees, as well as terminated employees whose records remain within the retention period.
Storing Form I-9 Records
Form I-9 records may be stored at the worksite to which they relate or at a company headquarters (or other) location, but the storage choice must make it possible for the documents to be transmitted to the worksite within three days of an official request for production of the documents for inspection.
Missing I-9 Forms
When you discover that an I-9 Form is not on file for an employee, you must request the employee to complete an I-9 Form immediately and submit documentation as required in section two.
The new Form should be dated when completed, and never post-dated. When an employee cannot provide acceptable documentation, you become aware at that time of the individual’s ineligibility to work. You may be subject to penalties for “knowingly” continuing to employ a worker under such circumstances.
Form I-9 Requirements of New Owners of Existing Businesses
If you are a new owner of a business, you may keep the acquired employer’s I-9 records rather than complete new Forms I-9 on employees who were also employees of the acquired employer. However, since you would be responsible for any errors, omissions or deficiencies in the acquired records, you may choose to protect yourselves by having a new Form I-9 completed for each acquired non-exempt employee and attached to that employee’s original Form I-9.
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