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Nov29

Form I-9 Self-Audit

I was recently hired as HR for my company. I informed them that we need to do a self-audit of the I-9s to insure they are in legal standing and correct any mistakes. I was told to just back date them. I informed them that no, we need to just correct them. I was then asked to just print new ones off for all the employees with the right dates and make new ones. I informed them that was dishonest and illegal. I was told it was not a big deal. What should I do? I am constantly telling them that what they want me to do is either illegal or dishonest. I want to protect myself.

Conducting an I-9 self-audit is an arduous task. Even with the best intentions, incorrectly altering or destroying an I-9 can result in significant consequences including hefty fines.

Tell your employer that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires I-9s to be completed and edited in a certain manner. Failure to properly edit the forms and, even worse, throwing them away is a big deal and can cost the employer thousands and thousands of dollars.

Why is your employer hesitant to correct the forms the right way? Are they concerned it will take you too much time or do you suspect they’re engaging in fraudulent activity?

The I-9 is an important tool used to ensure employers are complying with lawful hiring practices. Incorrectly altering or destroying it is unlawful. Thus, it’s important to be stern that you will not partake in unlawful activity. Assuming your employer is not trying to cover up illegal hiring practices, try to determine why they’re resisting doing a proper audit. Once you determine the reason, address their concerns and prove your case.

In most cases, the employer is simply just not aware of the proper procedures. Consider showing them the requirements in writing as described by the USCIS, http://www.uscis.gov/faq-page/i-9-central-self-audits#t17081n47005. Further, show them the penalties for violations, http://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/penalties/penalties. Illustrating the requirements and penalties in writing directly from the federal government should send a clear message that a proper self-audit is a must.

Hopefully, for both yours and their sake, you can convince them to conduct a proper self-audit. If so, the Society for Human Resources (SHRM) provides a helpful audit checklist, http://www.shrm.org/templatestools/samples/hrforms/articles/pages/i-9auditchecklist.aspx. Best of Luck.

This entry was posted on Sunday, November 29th, 2015 at 9:56 pm and is filed under
Human Resources Management, Labor Laws.
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