How Do I Comply with Form I-9 Requirements for Remote Employees?

When hiring new employees, you must complete many processes and fill out many forms. In the United States, every new employee must fill out a Form I-9. This two-page Employment Eligibility Verification form ensures individuals are legally allowed to work for pay in the United States. While this form is generally very simple, it comes with many challenges for a remote workforce.

Challenges of the Form I-9 for Remote Teams

The Form I-9 is usually one of many forms that companies require their workers to complete in the onboarding process. If this form is not filled out in its entirety, a company may be fined. However, one of the biggest challenges remote companies face is the fact that the form must be completed before an employee’s start date or within the first three.... The employer must then meet personally with the individual for discussion within this three-day window. (Video conferences and copied or printed documents are not allowed.) This is extremely difficult for remote employers, as their workers may live hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Hiring an Authorized Representative

To help solve this complicated process, you can choose authorized representatives to discuss the document and fill out all the required information during the in-person meetings.

While this can certainly remove the stress of meeting the three-day deadline, it can also cause frustration. You must find an authorized representative whom you trust and who will ensure the form is filled out correctly. Your company will be responsible for any mistakes your representative makes and may be subjected to fines and penalties.

Choosing an Authorized Representative

An authorized representative can be anyone, which means you must put a lot of trust in a stranger. Many companies only allow individuals with certain training and in certain positions to act as authorized representatives. For example, you may require a remote employee to find an HR professional at another company, a notary public, or an attorney. Narrow down a list of who can act as a representative and display this list in your remote work policy.

In addition, to help avoid errors and missed deadlines, create a specific process for remote employees to follow to complete the form. Consider asking them to deliver the documents within the first two days so you have some wiggle room if changes are made or mistakes are found.

Completing the Form I-9 can be a headache, but creating a clear policy and avoiding procrastination will help you meet the deadlines and avoid fines.

This post was contributed by HiringThing. HiringThing is an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. To read more topics regarding remote work, workplace culture, interview tips/tricks, technology and more, please be sure to visit HiringThing's blog.

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