Now that the national emergency related to COVID-19 has ended, the Department of Homeland Security is slowly phasing out the flexibilities it had put in place during the pandemic. Of note here, the flexibilities associated with Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, are coming to an end. Previously, employers that were fully remote were able to take advantage of a temporary policy that allowed for remote verification of I-9 documents rather than the legally mandated physical inspection, but with the flexibility ending (or with operations of the business returning to normal), there is a requirement to now physically examine these previously remotely verified documents.
In addition to the ending of COVID-19 flexibilities, the Department of Homeland Security has released a new version of the Form I-9 after several years. Along with a new form that reorganizes much information and condenses Section 1 and Section 2 to a single page, one exciting new addition is the implementation of remote verification of employees. While the legal standard is and has been that an employer must physically examine documents presented to them, there is now an alternative procedure by which some employers will be able to examine documents virtually. This will solve a huge number of headaches for workforces that are largely remote, but a caution—there are strict requirements as to who may conduct a remote verification and how those verifications must be conducted.
If you have questions about compliance now that COVID-19 flexibilities are ending, or would like to know more about the new form and procedures available, please contact our office.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a federal law that provides a pathway for certain abused family members of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to apply for…
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