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On March 20, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would not require employers to physically examine Form I-9 documents in the presence of new employees if the employer was operating remotely due to COVID-19. This rule was set to expire on May 30, 2020 but has been extended for an additional thirty days.

The rule announced back in March permits employers to examine Section 2 documents remotely (via video chat, fax, email, etc.) instead of physically and in the presence of the new employee, as is normally required. Employers who examine documents this way must list “COVID-19” in the “Additional Information” field for Section 2 to identify the reason for the delay of the physical examination. Once normal operations resume, the employer has three days to do an in-person physical examination of the documents. Once this is performed, employers must note the documents were physically examined and include the date of the examination in the “Additional Information” field. It is important to note this rule only applies to workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present in the workplace, then employers must examine the Form I-9 documents in person as it normally would.

Thompson Coe and myHRgenius Tip of the Week is not intended as a solicitation, does not constitute legal advice, and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


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