- Do not sign up workers who may benefit from the Guest Worker Program. Doing so is an admission the employer knows the employee is without authority to work in the U.S. and would subject the employer to fines.
- Avoid asking any employee about their particular immigration status. Such a discussion may suggest an employer is aware the employee is without authority to work in the U.S.
- Verify every person you hire is authorized to work in the United States.
- Regardless of size and number of employees, every employer must execute a Form I-9 for each employee.
- Update the Form I-9 for employees with a specific period of employment authorization.
- Keep the Form I-9 for three years, or for one year after the employee’s termination.
- Allow your new employees to select which documents they wish to use for proof of work authorization. It’s illegal to ask for more documents or different documents.
- Never refuse a document simply because you don’t recognize it. Social Security cards alone come in more than 16 versions. Remember, you’re not expected to be a document expert.
- Accept original documents or a receipt showing the worker recently applied for a replacement document. A worker who shows you a receipt has 90 days from the date of hire to obtain and provide you with replacement documents(s).
Remember, the law has not yet changed; the Conference Committee could fail to come up with a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the Immigration bill. Therefore, all employers should contact their trade associations and Congressional representatives to urge an employer-favored compromise and support S 2611.
Jacob M. Monty is an attorney and managing partner at Monty Partners, LLP, an employment and immigration law firm, representing the interests of companies with large Hispanic workforces.