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Should we retain copies of I-9 documents?

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in Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources

Q. We recently decided to start making copies of documents that employees provide to complete their I-9 forms (driver’s license, etc.).  Do we need to go back and complete new I-9s for employees hired before this date or ask them to provide the documents again so we can make copies? — J.T., Georgia

A. Federal law does not require organizations to make or re­­tain copies of documents used to complete employees’ I-9 forms. The practice may help you avoid liability or fraud. How­­ever, records of this documentation may work against employers in a lawsuit if the documents in the copies appear fraudulent. Or, the employer might be accused of hiding information if I-9 copies are kept for some employees and not others.

In this case, it may be worthwhile to have all employees submit their information to the company to be copied and kept on file to avoid the accusation that the employer is dishonest. Photocopies of the employee’s information should be retained with the Form I-9.

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