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ICE gives advice for internal Form I-9 audits

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in Office Management,Payroll Management

Take a look at your I-9 forms. Are some employees’ dates of birth missing? Or maybe you inadvertently used an old form or your photocopied documents aren’t clear. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE for short, has provided guidance for employers that want to conduct internal audits of their I-9 forms.

Preaudit prep. The first step in keeping the ICE man at bay is to determine the scope of your audit. Audits, for example, can cover a year or a facility. What to avoid: audits conducted on the basis of employees’ citizenship or national origin, or in retaliation against employees for any reason. Another no no: audits initiated on the basis of unsubstantiated tips or leads.

ICE suggests that you inform employees in writing of the internal audit. That way, they won’t be surprised when they’re asked to clear up discrepancies that arise during the audit. Recommended: Explain the scope and reason for the internal audit and specify whether the audit is independent of, or in response to, a government directive.

Postaudit actions. ICE cautions that regardless of the error, forms shouldn’t be backdated. For errors or omissions in Parts 1 or 2, the employee (for Part 1 errors) or you (for Part 2 errors) should draw a line through the incorrect information, enter the correct or omitted information and initial and date the changes; changes shouldn’t be erased or whited out.

For document deficiencies, ask employees to present documents that are acceptable under current law. ICE: Staple the completed and signed Section 2 of the current form to the employee’s previous form and include a signed and dated explanation of your correction.

If photocopied documents don’t meet the legal standard—documents must appear regular on their face and relate to the individual presenting them—you should address your concerns with employees directly and provide them with an opportunity to present acceptable documents.

If an employee didn’t complete a form when hired, or a form exists but wasn’t filled out, complete the form as soon as possible. ICE: State the actual date employment began in Part 2 and attach a signed and dated explanation of the correction. If an old form was used, but the documentation was acceptable when employees were hired, staple the old form to a blank current form; sign the current blank version, noting why you attached the current blank version.

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