By Mark Soycher and Lynn Atkinson
CBIA human resources experts
USCIS Publishes New Form I-9
Q: In last month’s HR Hotline article, you refer to the most current version of Form I-9 that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) continues to advise employers to use, even though its expiration date has expired. Since then, the USCIS has come out with a new form. Do we have to redo all the old ones?
A: Ah, the perils of print media. Just as we mailed last month’s CBIA News, the USCIS finally published the updated Form I-9, revised to minimize errors in form completion.
The good news is that you do not have to redo any old I-9s. But as always, it’s wise to periodically conduct an I-9 audit for proper completion, since many noncompliance citations are issued for paperwork violations related to I-9 documentation rather than the more serious offense of illegally employing workers who lack the proper documentation or status.
The revised Form I-9, which expires March 31, 2016, can be found here.
Instruction pages are more detailed and intended to be more helpful. The form itself has been expanded from one to two pages and contains new data fields for passport information (when applicable) and applicant telephone and email addresses (optional).
The final page, containing the lists of acceptable documents, offers clearer descriptions of the various documents applicants may present to establish both identity and employment authorization.
Because some larger employers using electronic systems for I-9 completion and retention may need some time to change systems over to the new form, the USCIS has provided a 60-day transition period.
At the same time, employers are encouraged to immediately begin using this updated Form I-9 for all new hires and re-verifications. Using the new form is mandatory after May 7, 2013.
A Spanish version of the form is available at uscis.gov and may be helpful to Spanish-speaking employers and employees as a reference. For compliance purposes, however, it is only acceptable in Puerto Rico; the English version must be used in all 50 states and other U.S. territories.
If you are interested in a comprehensive guide on Form I-9 compliance that contains much more detail than the form itself, see the USCIS’s updated version of their Handbook for Employers.
Q: We observe Memorial Day as a scheduled holiday, but we may need to have a few employees work that day. Are we required to pay them overtime?
A: There’s no requirement to pay overtime when employees work on a holiday unless the holiday hours result in their working more than 40 hours in that payroll week. But many employers do pay employees time-and-a-half—plus the day’s holiday pay.
Some also count paid holiday time off as hours worked when they compute overtime for a week in which a holiday falls.
For more information on pay practices, see CBIA’s Benefits Survey Report, which gives an overview of benefits currently offered by member companies. To purchase a copy, call 860.244.1900 or click here.
Q: We are a small manufacturer with several 17-year-olds working part-time. When school recesses for the summer, we would like to bring them on board full-time. Are there different time/hour restrictions for non-school weeks versus school weeks?
A: Sixteen- and 17-year-olds who are enrolled in school can work longer hours during the summer and other non-school weeks. According to the state Department of Labor, they may work up to eight hours per day/48 hours per week and six days per week when school is out. Unlike during school weeks, there are no restrictions on how late they may work on a given day. For 16- and 17-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and have not graduated, the restrictions are the same except that they may work nine hours per day.
Do you have a question related to employment law, wage and hour issues, or human resources? Members can get free information from CBIA’s experts by calling 860.244.1900.