Remote worker Form I-9 flexibilities again extended, now to November 19
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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Remote worker Form I-9 flexibilities again extended, now to November 19

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is again extending the flexibilities in rules concerning Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) compliance that were granted earlier this year. Because of the continued COVID-19 precautions, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the policy for another 60 days with the accommodations now set to expire November 19, 2020.

Flexibilities for remote workers. On March 19, 2020, due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19, DHS announced that it would be exercising prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the INA. This policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.

Where there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Remote inspection. As originally detailed by DHS, employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19—such as mandatory work from home, site closures, and shelter in place requirements—will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, employers still must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely, such as by video link, fax, or email, and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.

Qualified individuals. The expanded leave provisions would apply to individuals with at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, unless otherwise provided.

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