Department of Homeland Security Relaxes Standards for Verifying Work Authorization


As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security has relaxed its standards requiring in-person review of work authorization documents required to complete the I-9 form. Specifically, if an employer has no employees physically present at a work location to be able to perform in-person review of documents, the employer is now permitted to review work authorization documents remotely in order to complete an I-9 form within three days of a new hire. Employers doing so, however, must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy to each employee being hired.

If an employer continues to have any employees working physically on site, the relaxed standard is not available to that employer. Once normal operations resume, all employees who were onboarded using remote verification must receive in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility within three business days to remain in compliance with the I-9 requirements.

As you continue to navigate the myriad employment issues arising as a result of the pandemic, Mirick O’Connell’s Labor and Employment team stands ready to assist. Please contact any member of our team with questions.

About Bob Kilroy

Bob is a partner, member of the firm’s Management Committee and former chair of the firm's Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Group, where he specializes in employment litigation in defense of corporations and their executives. He routinely appears in federal and state courts throughout New England and beyond, as well as before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Civil Service Commission in defense of claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful termination, breach of contract, and wage payment violations. Bob also has extensive experience in both defense and enforcement of non-compete agreements. In addition, he represents management for both governmental and private-sector employers in grievance arbitrations filed by unions, with particular emphasis on the health care industry. Apart from his employment litigation practice, Bob advises clients on a broad range of employment and human resource-related issues.
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