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An estimated 4.4 million undocumented individuals will benefit from President Obama’s expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program by gaining work permits. Soon many Human Resources professionals will face long-term employees “coming out of the shadows” with possibly new identities and work authorization.

How should an employer respond when an employee presents new identity and new work authorization? What about The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and Form I-9 requirements? What about a company’s “honesty” policy?

The current version of the USCIS’ Handbook Employers (“Handbook”) already provides guidance on “new identity” situations: If the identity information relied on for a previous Form I-9 and/or E-Verify verification has materially changed, then the employer should re-run with the new identity information.

The Handbook also states that while there may be other legal, contractual, or company policy considerations, “where an employee has worked for you using a false identity but [comes forward with a new, true identity and] is currently work authorized, the I-9 rules do not require termination of employment.”

California employers must adhere to AB 263, California Labor Code §1024.6 which prohibits an employer from taking adverse action again an employee who updates or attempts to update his or her “personal information, unless the changes are directly related to the skill set, qualifications, or knowledge required for the job.”

Employer’s should view this as an opportunity to ensure a legal workforce without imposing punitive measures against the employee who now can benefit from immigration relief.


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Posted Under: EBI

Post By Barry Nixon (262 Posts)

W. Barry Nixon is the COO, the leading background screening information portal and online worldwide directory of professional background screening firms and Suppliers to the background screening industry. He co-authored the landmark book, Background Screening & Investigations: Managing Hiring Risk from the HR and Security Perspective. He also is the publisher of award winning newsletters, The Background Buzz and The Global Background Screener, and the author of the Background Checks column in PI Magazine.

In addition, Barry is a past recipient of the elite ‘Top 25 Influential People in Security’ by Security Magazine and past Co-Chair, International Committee for the National Association for Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS). He currently serves as a Global Ambassador for NAPBS.

You can contact Barry at 1-949-770-5264 or online at