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Accept Worker’s Choice of I-9 Documents

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in Firing,Human Resources

Q. Is it true that under a recently passed law, our company no longer can request copies of picture I.D. and Social Security cards? —A.G., Texas

A. That's not a new law. It's always been true that you can't force workers to show one type of document over another. Federal law says that to verify work authorization, companies must complete an I-9 Form for each new hire. As part of that process, workers must produce documents proving their work eligibility. They can show you any type of document from a list of documents acceptable by law. The list is printed on the back of the I-9.

As long as the person's document is on that list, appears to be genuine and relates to that person, you have to accept it. You can't tell them you'd prefer one type of document over another.

Recent case: A Las Vegas hotel paid a $50,000 fine for illegally firing 22 workers. The workers showed legally acceptable INS departure/arrival forms, but the hotel refused to accept the forms and fired them.

For more information and a current list of acceptable documents, visit www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc/facts or call (800) 255-8155.

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