Understanding and following I-9 compliance is a critical part of keeping you and your dental practice safe and protected.
Neglecting to follow I-9 compliance regulations can result in expensive fines, lawsuits and even jail time.
Yikes! Worth getting a bit more empowered and clear on, right?!
We thought so too!
Here are some tips on how to apply I-9 best practice in your practice to keep you aware, organized, empowered and diligent.
- The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 instructs that United States businesses, no matter the size, must include I-9 Form completion at the time a new employee joins a company.
- All employees must complete their I-9 by the end of the day on their first day of work. (To ensure this, we encourage you to make this a critical part of any new employee onboarding process and have this responsibility be assigned to a manager).
- A trained member of management is required to verify all information (for both employee and employer standpoints) on the I-9 to ensure that information is accurate and complete.
- Once information on the I-9 is verified by a trained team in a managerial position, you must e-verify the information before submission. (Occasionally, the information may be bounced back to you once you E-Verify. This can happen when there is an error in the form – i.e.: in the social security number, there is a difference in legal name vs. married name, etc. If this occurs, you are required to update the information on the form and have the employee initial the change for approval/verification.
- Completed/verified I-9s need to be scanned into digital personnel files.
- Since the I-9 forms include private information such as private addresses and social security numbers, it is important to keep the I-9 hard copies confidential and placed in a locked, safe space with restricted access.
- For auditing purposes, all employee I-9s must remain separate and held for up to three years whether they are an active employee or not. We recommend having this be part of someone’s job responsibility to review these every quarter to stay organized and up-to-date.
- Regarding employees that require a work authorization form, it is critical that the employer verify that employees’ right to work before the expiration date. It is not required to re-verify employees that are considered to be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or Expired List B documents.
Staying up-to-date on I-9 compliance in your practice is important to protect yourself, your practice and your employees. Having I-9 compliance regulations be included in someone’s job description and responsibilities help to ensure that best practices are met and managed.
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