Extended Provision For Remote I-9 Verification For New Hires
October 14, 2020
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY EXTENDS FLEXIBILITY FOR REMOTE I-9 VERIFICATION FOR NEW HIRES UNTIL NOVEMBER 19, 2020
As previously reported in Golan Christie Taglia’s March 25, 2020 COVID-19 Alert Update, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced temporary flexibility for Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Due to recommended social distancing precautions implemented by employers and employees, the DHS began temporarily deferring the physical presence requirements associated with the completion of the Form I-9.
Instead, the special flexibility permitted employers and workplaces operating remotely to inspect a new hire’s identity and employment authorization documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three (3) business days of date of hire.
Once normal operations resume, employees who were remote on-boarded must report in-person within three (3) business days for verification of these documents, and employers are required to examine the documents physically and complete Section 2 of the Form I-9.
HOW LONG IS THE EXTENSION & WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Since March 19, 2020, the DHS has granted additional extensions of its remote I-9 verification special flexibility. On September 14, 2020, DHS announced that it once more extended this special flexibility an additional 60 days up to November 19, 2020. Unless extended again, the physical presence verification requirements will resume on November 20, 2020 for all employers. Note, again, this special flexibility only applies to employers and workplaces operating remotely. If an employer has employees physically present at a work location, the special flexibility will not apply and no exceptions for in-person physical verification are being implemented at this time.
WE CAN HELP
If you have any questions about physically returning your remote employees to the workplace or need strategic advice on how to manage your workforce during this trying time, Golan Christie Taglia’s Employment Law team is available 24/7 to assist. To discuss your specific employment questions, feel free to contact: