by Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq.
By September 18, 2017, employers must use a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which was revised on July 17, 2017 (Form 7/17/2017 N). Until then, employers can continue using the recently revised Form 11/14/16 N.
Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. Violations of the Form I-9 requirements can result in civil fines, criminal penalties, debarment from government contracts, and more.
The Instructions for Form I-9 and the Form I-9 Supplement have also been updated.
So what’s changed, you ask? According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) , notable revisions include the following:
* Previously, the form and instructions stated that the employee must complete Section 1 “by the end of the first day of employment (emphasis added).” Now, the employee must complete Section 1 “by the first day of employment.”
* There has been a change to the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
* Revisions related to the list of acceptable documents on Form I-9 :
- Added the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C. Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer will be able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Sections 2 and 3. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.
- Combined all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350 and Form FS-240) into selection C #2 in List C.
- Renumbered all List C documents except the Social Security card. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.
The USCIS also included these changes in the revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274) , which was also improved for ease of navigation.
Note that employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.
Follow this link to obtain the new Forms, Instructions, and related documents here: www.uscis.gov/i-9.
Although the changes to the Form I-9 appear minimal, failure to use the new form following September 18 th can result in hefty fines. Have questions about I-9 compliance or any other pressing employment law issues? Your attorneys at Bradley, Gmelich & Wellerstein LLP can help.
ATTENTION EMPLOYERS IN THE SECURITY INDUSTRY: Are you paying your security officers weekly? As a reminder, according to Labor Code Section 201.3, you should be! Labor Code Section(b)(1)(B), which was amended in July 2016 as emergency legislation specifically addressing the security industry, provides the following:
“if an employee of a temporary services employer in the security services industry is a security guard who…is employed by a private patrol operator…and is assigned to work for a client, that employee’s wages are due and payable no less frequently than weekly, regardless of when the assignment ends.”
We have seen an increase in litigation in recent months related to employers in the security industry failing to pay their security officers on a weekly basis. We urge you to do so.
Jaimee K. Wellerstein is an experienced litigator with a broad spectrum of experience upon which to draw. As the head of the firm’s employment team, she concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, and wrongful discharge lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas. Ms. Wellerstein routinely represents employers in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings throughout the state, as well as at administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the United States Department of Labor, and other federal and state agencies.
As a civil litigator, Ms. Wellerstein has represented clients from Fortune 500 companies to governmental agencies to small businesses throughout each stage of litigation. In addition to her employment law experience, she has honed her expertise in cases involving general tort litigation, premises and products liability, security guard litigation, public entity work, and contract disputes.