Should You Store Your I-9’s Electronically?

Categories: Immigration Lawyer Blog San Diego

The Department of Homeland Security allows employers to store their I-9s electronically. Legislation was first enacted in 2004 with the regulations finalized on July 21, 2010 so that an employer may now store their I-9s electronically. Everything else is becoming automated, why not jump on the bandwagon and do it for I-9s too?

Abercrombie & Fitch thought this was a great idea. When they were audited, they had 0 unauthorized workers, but were still hit with a fine over $1,000,000 because they had “numerous technology related deficiencies” in their electronic I-9 verification system. Talk about a costly software selection mistake.

Don’t make the same mistake as Abercrombie. If your company wishes to implement an electronic I-9 verification system, you must implement an effective security system that ensures:

  1. Only the authorized person(s) will have access to the records,
  2. There is an effective backup system,
  3. Employees are trained to minimize the risk of accidental or unauthorized deletion or alteration of the records,
  4. Whenever a record is created or modified the system must create a permanent record that indicates the date and the person who accessed the record and what actions he/she performed, and
  5. The system will capture an electronic signature and attestation

If the system is properly installed, electronic I-9 verification does provide advantage for employers, especially large companies with multiple offices. The advantages are that one centralized office can control the I-9 and employment verification and the well trained central office can minimize I-9 errors or incomplete I-9s.

For more information on I-9s see our I-9 FAQ for employers