Summer has come and the annual influx of high school and college students seeking temporary jobs has arrived. According to a study by Snagajob, 74 percent of employers in the hospitality, food services or retail industries have, or are seeking, to hire interim help for the summer. I-9 compliance can be as important with these short-term hires as it is with full time employees. There are a number of rumors that tend to float around during the warmer months about summer hires. Here are some myths debunked by E-Verify and I-9 News in order to keep you out of I-9 trouble this summer.
1. I-9 compliance isn't a concern for summer hires
Your short-term employee's form I-9 will have to remain on file for a minimum of three years after they are hired. That means that even after he or she has left the company, an I-9 audit that discovers a failure to comply can still result in a fine. Regardless of how long the employee was with you, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement can still leave you with a $1,100 fine for form I-9 errors.
2. There are three days to complete the form I-9 for all hires
While this is often true, if you hire someone to work less than three days than the I-9 must completed on the first day. Again, this form must be kept on file for several years, so even after that brief three day period of work is done ICE still expects to find a completed form I-9 for him or her in the case of an audit. Spotts Fain suggests you make sure you are distinguishing between volunteers and employees as well. An I-9 isn't required for volunteers, so keep the definition of volunteer narrow in order to avoid a noncompliance issue due to laziness.
3. Receipts are fine in lieu of original documents for temporary hires
While they may be acceptable at times, receipts cannot be used for the form I-9 in the case of a three-days-or-less hire. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services receipts may mean; papers given to the new hire to temporarily replace documents stolen, lost or damaged; a permanent resident's arrival portion of the Form I-94/I-94A with a temporary I-551 and a photo instead of their Permanent Resident Card; a refugee's departure portion of the Form I-94/I-94A with a refugee admission stamp - valid for 90 days.
4. My manager can deal with the form I-9s for rehires
If you rehire an employee within three years of their previous end-date than you have a couple options with their form I-9, as it should still be stored somewhere in the office. Either you can provide the him or her with a new form I-9, or you can refill Section 3 of their original I-9. Either way, if you handle I-9s in your company, do not leave this to someone else. Inconsistencies in the I-9 compliance workflow will be heavily scrutinized by ICE in the case of an audit.
5. Temporary hires don't need to be run through E-Verify
If your location uses E-Verify, then it must be used on every hire permanent or not - this applies even if your use of E-Verify is voluntary. If you use E-Verify at all, it is good practice to use it on every new hire whether the intention is for them to work 3 years or 3 decades.
Additional summer hire tips
Often times temporary hires between June and August will be students looking for money during their summer vacations. If this student is under 18 there will be a few additional things to keep in mind not mentioned above. According to Spotts Fain new hires under 18-years-of-age may not be able to produce all of the documents required for I-9 compliance. If he or she cannot produce a List B identity document, it may be necessary to contact a parent or legal guardian in order to ensure the form I-9 is properly completed. If the student is in college that may produce additional challenges. Often college students are living away from home for the first time and may not have on them all the documents necessary to complete the form I-9. Be sure to remind student hires, both under and over 18, far in advance about the documents they will need for I-9 compliance.