Sharing employee information among company departments, and even with outside vendors, usually makes life easier for you and your employees. However, in response to an inquiry, the Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that an employer that sought to share employees’ Form I-9 or E-Verify information with a paycard vendor may be violating the immigration laws.
Keep it to yourself. The vendor requested access to the employer’s I-9 data so it could verify the identity of the employees to whom it would be issuing paycards. It would also require the employer to retain I-9 forms for five years after an employee terminated “for inspection purposes.”
The DOJ shot down the practice. DOJ: I-9 forms may only be used to enforce the immigration laws, and sharing those forms with a third party isn’t related to that use. Moreover, the DOJ said, the employer could be guilty of document abuse to the extent that it requested additional or different documents from employees, based on the third party’s determination that their documents were questionable.
PRACTICE TIP: Perhaps the paycard vendor was being overly cautious in trying to verify employees’ identities. After all, identity theft is a huge and growing problem. Remember that it’s up to you to check employees’ documents. You must accept employees’ documents if they look genuine and appear regular on their face. You don’t have to make any inquiries about those documents.