Consulting Services • Published 5/01/2020 New I-9 Form and COVID-19 Requirements
 
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Last updated on 5/1/2020

As of May 1, 2020, all employers must use the new version of the I-9 Form (10/21/19). To assist you in understanding the changes associated with the new form, we have summarized the highlights below:

Form Revisions and Instructions

  • Section 1: Revised the Country of Issuance field
  • Section 2: Revised the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport)
    • Note: This change is only visible when completing the fillable I-9 Form electronically.
  • Section 2: Also clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
  • List of Acceptable Documents: Provided clarifications on acceptable documents
  • Revisions also updated the process for requesting paper I-9 Forms; updated the DHS Privacy Notice, and updated USCIS website addresses

Relaxed Restriction Amid Covid-19 Crisis

While DHS rules are generally inflexible, especially when it comes to the I-9 Form, during unprecedented times, DHS and USCIS are taking unprecedented measures. On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (which oversees USCIS) announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance

Form Use and COVID-19 Return-to-Work

If you are one of the many employers taking advantage of DHS’s relaxed restrictions via Remote Documentation Verification, please be aware of the return-to-work requirements that must be implemented once employees return to work. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Once normal operations resume, all employees who were on-boarded using remote document verification must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for I-9 Form, Employment Eligibility Verification.
  • Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the I-9 Form, or to Section 3 as appropriate.
  • Please Note: Any audit of subsequent I-9 Forms would use the “in-person completed date” as a starting point for these employees only.

Related Article: Updated Form I-9 Compliance Requirements Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Requirement to Notify Workers of Unemployment Compensation Availability 

In an emergency rule issued on April 23,2020 by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC), employers are now required to inform their workers of the availability of unemployment insurance immediately upon separation. LWC has prepared a sample form containing the newly-required information. Download the form online. As per the Governor’s proclamation, reimbursable employers impacted by COVID-19 may be granted non-charges.

Resources

For more information related to the new I-9 Form and COVID-19 exceptions, visit https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/whats-new.

The LWC has additional resources available to assist companies as well as job assistance for displaced workers. Please visit www.laworks.net for more information.

P&N has been working continuously to provide our clients with articles and resources during these unprecedented times. Stay up to date by visiting our Coronavirus Resource Center. If you need help navigating the impact of COVID-19 on your human resources processes, please contact us.

 

Brandy Rush contributed to this article.

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