That’ll Cost You

by Deborah Z Mark



Employment Eligibility Verification Form.

That’s the official name of the document commonly known as the I-9 form.  It’s two pages of information: the first page of information is provided by the employee, and the second page is a list of documentation and information verified by the employer.

And it can cost you money.

Lots of it, if you’re not careful.


The purpose of Form I-9 is to document and verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees to allow them to work in the United States.

Time is of the Essence

Did you know Section 1 must be completed no later than the employee’s first day of employment?  But it may not be completed before the employee has accepted a job offer.

Section 2 (Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification) must be completed within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of employment.

Common Employee Mistakes

Here are some common employee errors on the I-9 form:

  • Employee does not sign and date the attestation
  • Employee does not check a box indicating citizenship or checks more than one box
  • Dates are not entered in the correct format: mm/dd/yyyy
  • Employee enters date of birth instead of date signed after signature

Common Employer Mistakes

Here are the most common employer mistakes:

  • Employer does not require employee to complete Section 1 by first day of employment
  • Employer does not complete Section 2 by the third business day after employment
  • Employer omits or does not enter the employee’s name in the correct format (last name, first name, middle initial) inside the box at the top of page 2
  • Employer demands specific IDs instead of providing the list of acceptable documents to the employee
  • Employer enters IDs in the wrong columns, or enters one ID from List A and includes additional ID information under List B and/or List C.  If a List A ID is provided, no other ID information may be listed.  Or the employer only enters one List B ID without entering List C (both must be provided)
  • Employer does not enter employee’s first day of employment, or enters the date in the wrong format (remember it must be: mm/dd/yyyy)


I-9 audits are becoming more and more common.

Errors will cost you.  Up to $1000 per error.

Yes, you read that correctly.  That’s not $1000 per each form that contains errors.  It’s $1000 per error.  The ten errors listed above could cost you $10,000.

For one form.

Let’s hope your new employee is worth it.

Even if your new employee is worth it, you have much better ways to spend your company’s profits, don’t you think?

Make it Easy on Yourself

Spend your hard earned money on growing your business instead of using it to pay fines.

Use your valuable time to make your company money instead of spending it shuffling and policing employee paperwork.

Make I-9 compliance easy on yourself.  Call managestaff.

We understand your challenges.  We’ll help you.


It’s what we do.

image: sippakorn/