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Using proper Form I-9 practices

Employment disputes can arise for many reasons, but litigation often doesn't begin until an employee is let go. Both business owners and employees have rights, and they want to protect themselves against lawsuits or unfair loss of employment. One way that both parties can protect themselves is by proper use of the I-9 Form.

The I-9 is a form used by businesses to indicated that they have collected and reviewed certain documents when hiring someone. The form has to be completed for all employees. It requires that employers ensure workers are eligible for work in the United States.

The I-9 can also be used to protect a business against claims that it knowingly hired someone who was not eligible for work in the country. As long as the form is completed and documents were appropriated reviewed and are on file, a business can not be held liable by the government for a fraud enacted by someone looking for work despite being ineligible.

The business has the right to fire or terminate anyone it hires if they do not produce the required documents. Usually, a new employee is given three days to produce these documents.

On the employee side, there is some leeway in the I-9 process. First, the process offers several options for proving eligibility, which makes it easier for some individuals to provide appropriate documents. Second, if someone cannot provide the documents within the three day timeline, they might be able to provide proof the documents are coming. The I-9 process allows workers to show a receipt indicating a replacement document has been ordered in cases where originals have been lost or destroyed.

The I-9 form is an important legal requirement. for employers. It can help reduce disputes about eligibility or discrimination. Understanding all legal requirements and rights can help both businesses and employees protect themselves.

Source: Department of Homeland Security, "I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification," accessed Nov. 06, 2015

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