I-9 Audit FAQs: Handling Remote and Off-Site Workers

As an employer, you probably don’t need us to tell you that keeping up with I-9 compliance can be a tricky process. That’s why at FordMurray, we utilize our years of experience to help clients avoid any I-9 compliance issues and provide our clients with internal audit strategies.

After publishing our new guide to planning for an I-9 compliance audit, we wanted to take the time to answer some of your questions and concerns surrounding the process.

Question: If the individual works at a remote location, off-site or in another office, who should be checking the I-9 documents if that employee never meets with corporate HR face-to-face?

You know by now that when hiring a new employee, it is in the best interest to accurately complete Form I-9. But how do you handle I-9 documentation if that employee works remotely or off-site and is unable to meet with HR?

If your office has multiple locations, it’s best to have an individual trained in I-9 compliance at each location. That way, the I-9 process can be taken care of normally, just like it would be at the business’s main location.

But what if you can’t have an HR rep at each office? Or what if the employee works from home? Utilizing a network, such as the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) or other professional association, to locate a reliable, trusted resource in that location or area to assist with the I-9 process is another potential option.

As we’ve pointed out in our earlier posts, being lax with I-9 compliance can lead to severe consequences, such as fines and penalties. Working with a network like SHRM will ensure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed when it comes to documentation for remote or off-site workers.

Another approach is to have the HR person responsible for the I-9 process travel to the off-site location on the first day of employment to conduct the orientation and complete the I-9 process.

Yes, your HR person will have to log some extra miles, but the peace of mind for your company is worth it. By visiting the employee and completing the I-9 process with them, it removes any uncertainty when it comes time to prepare for an audit or for the real-deal: U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) inspection.

Staying on top of remote and off-site workers will help prepare employers for a smoother and simpler audit process. And these audits are especially important because they not only help employers remain in I-9 compliance, but also help prepare for I-9 audits carried out by ICE.

Time to make sure your I-9 documentation is in-line? Contact us at FordMurray today to get started.