Form I-9 Required For All New Hires, Now Redesigned

All employers, regardless of size, are required to have all new employees fill out a Form I-9 within three days of an employee’s start date. The purpose is to confirm that all new hires are legally authorized to work in the United States. Although the process for filling out the form seems straightforward, the potential penalties for completing it incorrectly, or for failing to use the form at all, can be severe.

In addition to penalties and fines for paperwork violations, employers (including executives and human resource managers) can pay even bigger fines and potentially face jail time for employing someone who is not authorized to work in the U.S. On the other hand, if an employer does not follow the exact instructions regarding which types of documents are proof of work authorization, or an employer subjects some employees to more scrutiny than others, they risk being liable in a discrimination claim.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has recently revamped the form in an attempt to make compliance easier. Effective March 2013, all employers must use the new form, which now has a 2016 expiration date and can be found online at:

The new form differs significantly from prior versions: To make the process more user-friendly, seven pages of instruction have been added to the two-page form.

If you need help with any employment issues, contact Laura A. Balson, (312)696-1351, or Margaret A. Gisch, (312)696-2039,