DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility to December 31, 2021

Earlier last week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced another extension of its temporary policy for Form I-9 verification, which permits employers who have work-from-home (WFH) policies covering all of their employees to verify employment authorization documents through electronic means. These temporary accommodations have been extended to December 31, 2021, at which point the DHS will once again provide updated guidance to employers.

Please note that the DHS’ I-9 flexibility policy carries specific restrictions which may be burdensome for many employers. Most importantly, employers that use the policy are required to re-verify all employees who were initially verified through remote electronic means. The re-verification must be done ‘in person,’ by inspecting original documents within 3 days of the employer resuming ‘normal operations.’ The policy does not specially address situations where the company discontinues its WFH operations gradually, or where the employer will maintain WFH policy indefinitely. Nor does the policy address other common scenarios, such as where an employee initially verified electronically is terminated prior to the company resuming its ‘normal operations.’

Please contact our office if you have questions about this policy, or alternative means for completing I-9 verification remotely. Please also refer to our previous alert which provides additional details on this topic.

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