As an employer, you probably don’t need us to tell you that keeping up with I-9 compliance can be a tricky process. We utilize our years of experience to help clients avoid any I-9 compliance issues and provide our clients with internal audit strategies – learn more about our comprehensive I-9 manual and compliance training programs here. To learn how President Trump’s recent immigration announcements could impact I-9 enforcement, click here.
When is it okay to destroy I-9 records?
An employer can destroy a former employee’s I-9 records one year from the date of termination or three years from the date of hire, whichever is later. To avoid confusion, it is recommended that employers keep I-9 files in separate and secure folders.
What happens if I misplace or destroy an employee’s I-9 early?
We know keeping on track of all of these files can be tough, especially if you’re responsible for a large number of employees. But, disposing of these files early is considered a violation of the law and can lead to fines and penalties.
If you find you are missing a Form I-9, correct the mistake as quickly as possible by completing a new Form I-9 with the employee. DO NOT BACKDATE the form. While the new Form I-9 does not take the place of the original form, it shows a good faith effort to comply with the law.
It’s imperative to keep stellar I-9 records for the appropriate amount of time. Did you know that some of the most common errors found during the I-9 audit process are the result of simple record keeping mistakes? Keeping these records organized can help you and your business remain in compliance, which will make the process much, much smoother.
How should I store I-9 Forms?
It is best to have one folder for current employees, one folder for employees that will require reverification and one for terminated employees.
How do I destroy I-9 records?
When it’s time to get rid of those older I-9 records, remember to properly destroy all documents. This ensures that an employee’s or former employee’s personal information remains personal. Dispose of these forms the way you dispose of other, confidential information for your business.
- You can destroy a former employee’s I-9 records one year from the date of termination or three years from the date of hire, whichever is later.
- Current employee’s I-9 records must be maintained for their entire period of employment.
- Failure to retain I-9 records for the appropriate amount of time can lead to fines and penalties.
- Keep I-9 records separate: one folder for current employees, one for time limited work authorized employees and one for former employees.
- Properly destroy all older records when it’s appropriate to do so.
Due to the importance of I-9 compliance, it is recommended that employers conduct their own I-9 audit bi-annually. Learn more about our I-9 Compliance Training, download our free I-9 audit guide, or contact us today to get started.