Monday, February 2, 2009

Today is the old new Form I-9 deadline

Remember the Form I-9 “Hokey Pokey” we played last summer? Are you ready for round two?

A new I-9 form was scheduled to take effect today, but in a surprise move, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) retracted the mandatory changes late on Friday, January 30, pending further comment and review.

I hope you remember where you put your old I-9s, because DHS says we must continue using them until April 3, 2009. The good version of the Form I-9 should have the “(Rev. 06/05/07) N” date on the bottom right-hand corner of the form.

Last Friday, DHS extended another 30-day comment period for the new Employment Verification rules and pushed back the scheduled update by two months, instructing businesses to go back to using the previous guidelines and I-9 forms.

In preparation for the new I-9 forms, many hiring managers and HR departments across the country discarded the previous forms, believing them to be outdated. The retraction and re-instatement of the old forms has some employers scrambling to respond and replace the forms they threw out last week.

Ashley Kaplan, Labor Law Compliance Attorney for G.Neil, received the DHS announcement Friday evening and immediately recognized the potential challenges.

“We worked overtime last week to ship out the updated forms to our customers to begin using on February 2, and now need to get back to them with new instructions,” Kaplan explains. “We’re providing a free pdf of the previous I-9 Form and instructions to our customers who purchased the updated forms. We’ll also closely monitor the extended review period in case further changes occur before the April 3rd deadline.”

If there was ever a time when procrastinating on compliance deadlines could work in your favor - this was it. You now have more time to get the right forms in order and finish up that Form I-9 training.

Still confused and need more information? Read G.Neil's new Form I-9 Q & A.

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