Q. We have a workforce that largely works remotely, some hundreds of miles from our corporate office. For a variety of reasons, we will be reclassifying a number of these individuals from independent contractor status to employees. Given that we will need I-9s for the employees, do we need to personally see the required identification documents, or can the employees send us facsimiles/scans, etc.? If we need to see the forms personally, what is the best way to do that?
A. To ensure I-9 compliance, the employer must physically see the identification documents presented. A photocopy, facsimile or scan will not be sufficient.
If it is not practical or feasible for the employee to bring his or her documentation into the office, consider retaining someone in the vicinity of the employee, such as an attorney or notary public, to act as the employer’s agent for purposes of review and verification of the appropriate I-9 documentation, and completion of the Form I-9. The cost of this service can often be negotiated.
by Susan K. Fitzke and Sarah J. Gorajski, Esqs., Littler Mendelson, Minneapolis
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