Q: What should districts do if an employee presents multiple documents to establish identity and work authorization on the Form I-9?
A: When an employee presents multiple documents, the employer should only review and record one document or permissible combination of documents to verify the employee’s work authorization.
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requires an employee to present one document from List A or one from List B and List C. The form instructions make it very clear the employee chooses which documents to present and that the employer may not dictate or request specific items.
List A documents establish both identity and employment authorization and include passports, Permanent Resident Card, or other employment authorization documents that contain a photograph. List B documents are photo identification cards (e.g., driver’s license) and must be accompanied by a List C document that establishes employment authorization (e.g., Social Security card, birth certificate, Native American tribal document).
If the employer records both List A and a combination of List B and C document, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will consider this an over-documentation error. Such errors need to be corrected as soon as detected or they’ll be viewed as a permanent error. The concern is that these type of errors exhibit a pattern or practice of discrimination as a result of the employer requesting specific documents and not allowing the employee make the choice.
If the employer detects an over-documentation error, or any other error, it should immediately remediate the form to ensure compliance. When correcting Sections 2 or 3, the employer should:
- Draw a line through the incorrect information
- Enter the correct information
- Initial and date the correction
Steps for correcting other or multiple errors can be found on the USCIS website.
If you choose to make and retain copies of documents presented, you only should keep copies of the documents recorded on the form. Copies should be attached to the form and not kept separately in the personnel file.
April Mabry oversees HR Services training services, member library products, and the HRX newsletter. She has provided HR training and guidance to Texas public schools since 1991. Mabry was a classroom teacher for 11 years in Texas and Michigan.
Mabry has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Michigan and certification as a professional in human resources (PHR) and is a SHRM-CP.
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