DHS Updates I-9 Verification Policy In Response to Improving Pandemic Conditions

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As a sign of improving pandemic times, the United States Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) recently announced changes to the I-9 employment verification process.

As is well known, all employers in the United States must verify an employee’s identity and work eligibility within 72 hours of onboarding a new hire. Part of this process requires that an employer inspect documents that are listed at the end of the I-9 form (see here). Due to the pandemic, however, employees have occasionally had difficulty renewing some documents that established their identity (such as a driver’s license or state ID card); documents that are specified on List B of the linked I-9 form (see again here). In response, DHS has temporarily allowed employers to accept expired List B documents for purposes of establishing an employee’s identity.

However, DHS has recently announced that it is ending this temporary policy. (DHS’s announcement is here). Effective May 1, 2022, employers may no longer accept expired List B documents, and, by July 31, 2022, employers must update the I-9 form for any employee who presented an expired List B document (if that employee is still employed by then).

What this means is that employers should:

  1. Conduct an I-9 audit to determine if they have accepted any expired List B documents for any new hire; and
  2. End their policy or practice of accepting expired List B documents for new hires.

If an employer determines that it accepted an expired List B document, the employer must ask an employee to present a renewed (unexpired) List B document (or some other document specified on the I-9 form) on or before July 31, 2022, and update the I-9 form to reflect as much.

If you need assistance with the I-9 auditing process, please contact us at info@mnklawyers.com.

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between MNK Law and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material.

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