By Jennifer Jacobus, PHRca, SDEA Director of HR Services
The end of COVID-19 I-9 flexibilities marks a significant milestone in the recovery from the pandemic. These flexibilities were introduced to adapt to the unique challenges posed by the global health crisis, allowing employers to verify the employment eligibility of their workers without requiring in-person document review. On May 4th, 2023, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced that the COVID-era flexibilities will end on July 31st, and that employers will have until August 30th to complete their physical inspection requirements.
With the end of COVID-19 I-9 flexibilities, employers will now need to return to the traditional process of physically examining documents to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. This shift signifies a return to pre-pandemic practices, bringing a sense of normalcy to the hiring and onboarding procedures.
With more and more employees working remotely, many employers will need to come up with new procedures in order to meet these requirements. As a reminder, all employees must complete an I-9 that shows proof of eligibility to work in the U.S. as well as proof of identity. Employees are required to complete Section 1 of the I-9 on, or before their first day of work and employers must complete Section 2 within three days of the employees hire date. The employer’s obligation is to physically inspect documents used to meet this requirement, meaning touching, feeling and actually looking at the original document.
The I-9 process, which may seem simple, is the opposite. Anyone having questions or concerns about their I-9 compliance obligation, are encouraged to give us a call at 858-505-0024.