Interim Rule on Electronic Storage of I-9 Forms Now in Effect
The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on June 15 published an interim rule on the electronic completion and retention of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms. Although ICE will accept written comments until August 14, the interim rule took effect on June 15. The rule implements legislation enacted in October 2004.
The rule does not require employers to electronically complete or store I-9 forms. It merely sets forth specific standards that an employer electing to do so must follow. Employers may retain Form I-9s in hard copy, electronic form, or a combination of both.
The rule requires that a system for the electronic generation or storage of I-9s include:
(i) reasonable controls to ensure the integrity, accuracy and reliability of the electronic generation or storage system;
(ii) reasonable controls designed to prevent and detect the unauthorized or accidental creation of, addition to, alteration of, deletion of, or deterioration of an electronically completed or stored Form I-9, including the electronic signature if used;
(iii an inspection and quality assurance program evidenced by regular evaluations of the electronic generation or storage system, including periodic checks of the electronically stored Form I-9, including the electronic signature if used;
(iv) in the case of electronically retained Forms I-9, a retrieval system that includes an indexing system that permits searches by any data element; and
(v) the ability to reproduce legible and readable hardcopies.
If an I-9 form is completed electronically, an electronic signature must be “attached to or logically associated with” the completed form, and the system used for capturing the signature must:
(i) affix the electronic signature at the time of the transaction;
(ii) create and preserve a record verifying the identity of the person producing the signature; and
(iii) provide a printed confirmation of the transaction, at the time of the transaction, to the person
providing the signature.
The rule also contains specific standards for documentation, security, and other aspects of an electronic system for Form I-9 completion or retention. To view the Federal Register notice with the complete interim rule, click here. For additional guidance on I-9 requirements, visit AGC’s Labor & HR Topical Resources Web page at www.agc.org/HR/topicalresources and look under “Immigration.”
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