The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has passed a 4th extension allowing employers until September 19, 2020 to inspect documents related to the Form I-9 for new hires that are currently working remotely. The previous extension expired on August 19, 2020.
It’s important to remember that once an employee returns from telework, their documents must be inspected upon their return, even if that is prior to September 19, 2020. This extension does not apply to businesses that have “some” employees reporting to a work location. This has caused confusion among employers and ICE has faced criticism for not understanding the current work environment many employers are facing. ICE has not addressed the issue directly but has said that they will address issues on a case-by-case basis.
Employees are still allowed to produce expired documents during the extensions and up to 90 days thereafter. Employees must produce a valid document prior to the end of the 90 days, even if that document is different than the one originally produced. Many employers are looking for ICE to publish clarifying guidance on how to properly document and handle the Form I-9 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The full release from ICE can be read here.
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