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One thing every H.R. professional can count on is change! This time, the I-9 process is changing, which we all know, is critical to our businesses. On April 3, 2009, we will be required to use the 2009 version of the I-9. Unlike previous I-9 rules, expired documents will no longer be acceptable for proof of identification or work authorization. Forms I-688, I-688A and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and older versions of the Employment Authorization Card/document) have also been eliminated for identification purposes.

Employers only need to complete the revised version of the Form I-9 for new employees. Employers should not be completing Forms I-9 for existing employees. However, employers must use Form I-9 when their employees require re-verification. It is not enough to simply complete section 3 of the current I-9 to update the information.

The new form revises the employee attestation section, as well. Instead of choosing one of three categories, two categories are offered, resulting in four options: U.S. citizen, U.S. National, U.S. permanent resident, and/or alien otherwise authorized to work.

Fifteen million illegal workers are employed in the United States (out of 303 million total workers). Due to the gravity of this problem, errors are penalized from $110 to $1100 per I-9. So completing an I-9 incorrectly can be quite costly to any business.

Effective May 21, 2009, a new Federal Contractor rule will be in place, as well. All contractors on government funded jobs will be required to use E-Verify on any new hires. In addition, contractors will have 90 days to E-Verify all current/existing employees. This rule will be enforced to primary contractors billing government jobs over $100,000, and all subcontractors billing over $3,000.

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