Employment Eligibility Verification
The I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Process
Verification of work authorization status is mandated by the Immigration Reform and Control Act before every prospective employee can begin work. The appropriate form which must be completed is Form I-9. The steps involved in the I-9 employment eligibility verification process are:
- GC provides the employee with the list of documents acceptable to establish authorization to accept employment in the United States.
- The employee completes Section 1 of the I-9 form.
- The employee presents documentation to establish his/her authorization to accept employment in the United States.
- GC examines the documentation presented by the employee and completes Section 2 of the I-9 form.
Section 1 of the I-9 must be completed by the employee no later than the date on which his/her employment begins. Section 2 of the I-9 must be completed by GC within three business days of the date on which the employment begins. GC has the responsibility to ensure that both sections are completed in a timely and appropriate manner. The failure to complete, retain, and/or make I-9 forms available for inspection carries monetary penalties for each impropriety.
Appointment letters should indicate that all employment is subject to the prospective employee verifying that s/he has the authority to work in the United States.
The Necessity of Employment Authorization
If a prospective employee does not have proper work authorization on the date that s/he is scheduled to begin employment, s/he cannot be hired or begin work. This applies even where an appropriate application for work authorization is pending. Knowingly hiring an individual who does not have work authorization will subject GC to monetary penalties or other sanctions.
Expiration of Employment Authorization
Some individuals have work authorization with a time restriction. If GC continues to employ such an individual after his/her work authorization has expired, GC will also be subject to monetary penalties and/or other sanctions, because such continued employment is a violation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act’s paramount purpose of restricting the employment of unauthorized noncitizens.
Questions on how to terminate an employee who lacks work authorization should be directed to the Office of General Counsel.