I-9 Documentary Review: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a regulation that, if implemented, then it would give the DHS greater power to change specific requirements during the form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. Specifically, the rule would additionally empower the DHS to implement alternative methods for employers to examine employee documents during the I-9 process.
Background on Form I-9 Documentary Review
All U.S. employers should establish the employment eligibility of employees utilizing form I-9. The form establishes that an employee has given the employer sufficient evidence of the employee’s identity and employment authorization.
Conventionally, the employee should introduce the physical identity and employment authorization document/s to the employer. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the DHS gave temporary guidance allowing, in specific conditions, for the employer to review these documents remotely. This flexibility is presently set to expire on 31st October 2022.
The DHS proposed rule would not directly or quickly change the I-9 process. Rather, whenever executed, the DHS would be granted greater authority to change the requirements. For an employer to check a worker’s identity and employment authorization documents. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would have more authority to temporarily alter requirements. For example, during a national health crisis. Also, the DHS would have the option to implement long-lasting changes to the process, maybe after first exploring such changes via one or more pilot programs.
The DHS anticipates that numerous employers will continue to employ workers remotely, even as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes. Accepting this rule is implemented, it is sensible to expect. That the DHS might want to find how best to bring the I-9 process into the digital age. The public has up to 60 days to comment on the proposed rule, until 17th October 2022.