On March 8, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for immediate use by employers.
By way of background, all U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for all employees hired on or after November 6, 1986. The purpose of Form I-9 is for employers to document their employees' identity and authorization to work in the United States. USCIS first introduced a revised Form I-9 almost one year ago and invited the public to comment on it. After reviewing the comments and going through several iterations, USCIS issued the revised Form I-9, bearing an edition date of March 8, 2013. Employers have a grace period of two months to continue to use the previous versions of Form I-9 bearing an edition date of either February 2, 2009, or August 7, 2009. On May 8, use of the new Form I-9 will become mandatory and employers that fail to comply may be subject to civil penalties. Accordingly, employers should incorporate the new Form I-9 edition into their compliance procedures as soon as possible, regardless of whether they complete and maintain their records manually or electronically.
Employers may find the revised form at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
What Is New About the Form I-9?
Form I-9 has historically been one page, with three different sections. The first section is to be completed by the new employee no earlier than his or her acceptance of an offer and no later than the first date of hire. The second section is to be completed by an authorized representative of the employer no later than three business days from the employee's date of hire, to ensure the employee has properly completed Section 1 and to verify the employee's documents evidence identity and employment eligibility. The third section is to be completed by the employer to reverify that an employee with expiring employment authorization continues to have valid employment authorization after the date of expiration, as indicated by the employee in the first section of the form.
The revisions to the Form I-9 are as follows:
1. The new form has a revised layout. It now consists of two pages (in addition to the list of acceptable documents to establish identity and employment authorization).
2. The new form contains new data fields relating to the employee, including foreign passport number and country of issuance and telephone number and e-mail address (the latter two being optional).
3. The new form provides clearer instructions regarding its completion, including:
Proper completion of Form I-9 is even more critical now that the revised version contains more explicit instructions. It remains to be seen how U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will address violations relating to improper completion of the form and whether errors will constitute technical or substantive violations, a distinction that impacts the severity of fines imposed on employers.
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Day Pitney Alert
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Michael Furey was quoted in an article, "NJ Panel Grills Hospitals Over Discovery In Horizon Row," in Law360. Day Pitney is representing five New Jersey hospitals in a lawsuit against Horizon Healthcare, relating to its new, multi-tiered health plan called OMNIA. Furey advocated on behalf of the five hospitals on Wednesday before a New Jersey appeals court that Horizon should turn over a consultant's report and certain agreements relating to how Horizon categorized hospitals under its controversial OMNIA Alliance program and the impact of OMNIA on the hospitals. These Tier 2 hospitals are alleging various claims, including breach of contract and citing concerns that being ranked in the lower tier of the program will cost them business. Horizon contends the sought-after materials, including a financial analysis, strategic alliance agreements and rate agreements between the insurer and OMNIA network hospitals, contain trade secret and confidential information. "If we're going to prove our hospitals should be Tier 1 alliance members, we need the documents and the information," Furey said.
Hartford, Conn., May 26, 2016 - Day Pitney LLP is pleased to announce that Employment and Labor attorney Albert Zakarian has been chosen as a Lifetime Achievement winner of The Connecticut Law Tribune’s second annual Professional Excellence Awards 2016. The Professional Excellence Awards 2016 recognize 28 lawyers, who were chosen from over 60 nominees, as either Lawyer of the Year or Lifetime Achievement recipients, according to The Connecticut Law Tribune. The Lifetime Achievement Awards honor "attorneys who have excelled over a career."
John McLafferty was quoted in an article, "Final overtime regulations less drastic than feared," in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In the article, McLafferty discusses how the Department of Labor’s final revised federal overtime regulation will impact businesses. "The reality is that the rule made more people eligible for overtime; it didn’t create any obligation for employers to pay more overtime," he said. McLafferty added that the regulation’s impact on employees could have a wider effect on office culture and policies, which may affect a company’s ability to attract and retain workers. In addition, he noted that employers should take this opportunity to ensure that all of their employees are properly classified for overtime purposes.
Albert Zakarian has been chosen as a winner of The Connecticut Law Tribune's second annual Professional Excellence Awards. The awards recognize two dozen lawyers for outstanding service to the profession during their long careers. The publication received more than 70 nominations. Profiles of awardees will appear in the Law Tribune in May. An event will also be held in May to recognize the winners. More about the awards can be found here.