COVID-19 was one of the main reasons many businesses have recently closed for long periods; their processes and activities changed, and companies were forced to switch to doing everything remotely. If your business is ready to get back to work, there are some I-9 form considerations for reopening worksites that you need to know about. These will help you understand what changed and how to address verifications and the new hiring process.
Any employer or business needs to provide an I-9 form to new hires to provide proof of employment eligibility. This ensures the business and employees comply with work regulations and standards. There are three sections to this form:
- Section 1 – Employee Information and Attestation
- Section 2 – Employer Review and Verification
- Section 3 – Reverification and Rehires
With remote work and electronic verification, filling out this form without new hires being physically present helps reopen businesses more efficiently.
Section II of the I-9 form states that the employer needs to conduct an in-person verification process for new hires. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this verification process changed to an online procedure that enables employees to review and inspect documents using new technology to make this process more convenient. After the online verification is ready, employers have three business days after reopening the business to verify the documents.
Some industries now specialize in gathering and delivering information from the I-9 forms to complete the e-verify compliance process. This is to ensure that everyone who is applying online has the correct information and permits. With online processes not being live, it is easier for some people to take advantage of not having the proper documents.
Reverification and Rehiring
People who used to work in your business and were furloughed during the pandemic will need to fill out their information for the reverification and rehiring process to ensure that no information changes when and if they come back to work. E-verification systems will also alert you of changes in a worker’s current status.
Ready for Reopening
An important I-9 consideration for reopening worksites is to have your staff fully trained and prepared for the new reality of the company. Some processes might be different, and everyone needs to undergo updated training to ensure client satisfaction. Having the proper documents from people and having someone verify the e-forms is key to maintaining a safe and productive environment.