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INS PROVIDES INFORMATION ON COMPLYING WITH EMPLOYER SANCTIONS PROVISIONS OF 1986 IMMIGRATION REFORM AND CONTROL ACT

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service issued the following:
 Following are commonly asked questions about complying with the Employer Sanctions provisions of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which requires employers to verify the work eligibility of all employees hired since Nov. 7, 1986:
 Q: Do citizens and nationals of the United States need to prove they are eligible to work?
 A: Yes. While citizens and nationals of the United States are automatically eligible for employment, they too must present the required documents and complete an I-9.
 Q: Do I need to complete an I-9 for everyone who applies for a job with my company?
 A: No. You need to complete I-9s only for people you actually hire. For purposes of this law, a person is "hired" when he or she begins to work for you.
 Q: I understand that I must complete an I-9 for anyone I hire to perform labor or services in return for wages or other remuneration. What is "remuneration?"
 A: Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services rendered by an employee, including food and lodging.
 Q: Do I need to fill out an I-9 for independent contractors or their employees?
 A: No. For example, if you contract with a construction company to perform renovations on your building, you do not have to complete I-9s for that company's employees. The construction company is responsible for completing the I-9s for its own employees. However, you must not knowingly use contract labor to circumvent the law against hiring unauthorized aliens.
 Q: Can I fire an employee who fails to produce the required documents within three business days?
 A. Yes. You can terminate an employee who fails to produce the required document or documents, or a receipt for a document, within three business days of the date employment begins. However, you must apply these practices uniformly to all employees. If an employee has presented a receipt for a document, he or she must produce the actual document within 90 days of the date employment begins.
 Q: May I specify which documents I will accept for verification?
 A: No. The employee can choose which document(s) he or she wants to present from the lists of acceptable documents. You must accept any document (from List A) or combination of documents (one from List B and one from List C) listed on the I-9 and found in Part 8 of the Handbook for Employers, which reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them. To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice. Individuals who look and/or sound foreign must not be treated differently in the hiring or verification process.
 Q: What is my responsibility concerning the authenticity of document(s) presented to me?
 A: You must examine the document(s) and, if they reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them, you must accept them. To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice. If the document(s) do not reasonably appear on their face to be genuine or to relate to the person presenting them, you must not accept them.
 Q: Some people are presenting me with Social Security Cards that have been laminated. May I accept such cards as evidence of employment eligibility?
 A: You may not accept a laminated Social Security Card as evidence of employment eligibility if the card states on the back "not valid if laminated." Lamination of such cards renders them invalid. Metal or plastic reproductions of Social Security Cards are not acceptable.
 Q: May I accept a photocopy of a document presented by an employee?
 A: No. Employees must present original documents. The only exception is that an employee may present a certified copy of a birth certificate.
 Q: When I review an employee's identity and employment eligibility documents, should I make copies of them?
 A: The law does not require you to photocopy documents. However, if you wish to make photocopies, you should do so for all employees, and you should retain each photocopy with the I-9. Photocopies must not be used for any other purpose. Photocopying documents does not relieve you of your obligation to fully complete Section 2 of the I-9 nor is it an acceptable substitute for proper completion of the I-9 in general.
 Q: When do I fill out the I-9 if I hire someone for less than three business days?
 A: You must complete both Sections 1 and 2 of the I-9 at the time of the hire. This means the I-9 must be fully completed when the person starts to work.
 Q: What are the requirements for retaining the I-9?
 A: If you are an employer, you must retain the I-9 for three years after the date employment begins or one year after the date the person's employment is terminated, whichever is later. If you are an agricultural association, agricultural employer or farm labor contractor, you must retain the I-9 for 3 years after the date employment begins for persons you recruit or refer for a fee.
 Q: Will I get any advance notice if an INS, Department of Labor (DOL) or Office of Special Counsel Officer (OSC) wishes to inspect my I-9s?
 A. Yes. The officer will give you at least three days (72 hours) advance notice before the inspection. If it is more convenient for you, you may waive the three-day notice. You may also request an extension of time in which to produce the I-9s. The INS, DOL or OSC officer will not need to show you a subpoena or a warrant at the time of the inspection.
 NOTE: This does not preclude the INS, the DOL or the OSC from obtaining warrants based on probable cause for entry onto the premises of suspected violators without advance notice. Failure to provide the I-9s for inspection is a violation of the employer sanctions laws and could result in the imposition of civil money penalties.
 Q: If I am a business entity (corporation, partnership, etc.), do I have to fill out I-9s on my employees?
 A: Yes, you must complete I-9s for all of your employees, including yourself.
 Q: I have heard that some state employment agencies can certify that people they refer are eligible to work. Is that true?
 A: Yes. State employment agencies may elect to provide persons they refer with a certification of employment eligibility. If one of these agencies refers potential employees to you with a job order or other appropriate referral form and the agency sends you a certification within 21 business days of the referral, you do not have to check documents or complete an I-9 if you hire that person. However, you must review the certification to ensure that it relates to the person hired and observe the person sign the certification. You must also retain the certification as you would an I-9 and make it available for inspection, if requested. You should check with your state employment agency to see if it provides this service and become familiar with its certification document.
 Q: How can I avoid discriminating against certain employees while still complying with this law?
 A: You can avoid discriminating against certain employees and still comply with the law by applying the employment eligibility verification procedures of this law to all newly hired employees and by hiring without respect to the national origin or citizenship status of those persons authorized to work in the United States. To request to see identity and employment eligibility documents only from persons of a particular origin, or from persons who appear or sound foreign, is a violation of the employer sanctions laws and may also be a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. You should not discharge present employees, refuse to hire new employees, or otherwise discriminate on the basis of foreign appearance, accent, language or name.
 Q: Can I be charged with discrimination if I contact the INS about a document presented to me that does not reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the person presenting it?
 A: No. The anti-discrimination provisions of the act only apply to the hiring and discharging of individuals. While you are not legally required to inform the INS of such situations, you may do so if you choose to.
 Q: If if need more information about complying with the Employers Sanctions provisions, who should I contact?
 A: You may obtain additional information from your local INS office or by calling toll free 800-755-0777.
 -0- 1/27/93
 /CONTACT: Verne Jervis or Duke Austin of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, 202-514-2648/


CO: U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

DC -- DC007 -- 9569 01/27/93 11:08 EST
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