When to Retain a Copy of I-9 Support Documents

Although it may seem like a good idea to make copies of documentation presented by new employees for Employment Eligibility Verification forms (I-9s), if the company is participating in wrongdoing, the documents may give investigators conclusive proof of a pattern of knowingly hiring employees with false documents. On the contrary, retaining copies of I-9 documents could make internal audits easier and may be helpful in handling E-Verify. Federal law requires a company to maintain a completed I-9 for every employee from the date of hire until either three years from the date of hire or one year after termination, whichever is later. It must be maintained either on paper, microform or electronically, in accordance with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) standards.

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