Whether you are starting your first job or have been in the workforce for years, you have probably seen an I-9. Provided your employer has at least four employees, someone at the company must use the form to verify your identity and work eligibility.
While completing an I-9 is often routine, your employer may illegally use the employment verification process to discriminate against you. If someone in the organization does not follow the law, you may need to act quickly to protect both your legal rights and your job.
You can choose which documents to provide
As mentioned, employers use the I-9 form to verify the following two matters:
- Your identity
- Your legal authorization to work in the United States
When completing the form, a company representative should ask you to provide documentation. Some documents prove both identity and work eligibility. The form’s instructions call these List A documents. On the other hand, some documents only prove either identity or work eligibility. Those that demonstrate identity are List B documents, and those that show work authorization are List C documents.
Your employer should provide you with a complete list of acceptable documents. As long as you offer either a document from List A or one document from List B with one from List C, your employer may not ask you for specific or different documentation for I-9 purposes.
You have time to provide documentation
Your employer must ask you to complete the first section of the I-9 on your first day of work. Nonetheless, you have three days to provide documentation that proves your identity and work eligibility. Your employer should not cut this timeframe short. Instead, your employer should allow you to work until the end of your third day of employment.
To comply with federal law, your employer likely must complete an I-9 form. If the company’s representative does not follow the form’s instructions precisely, though, you may have a valid discrimination claim. If you are not sure how to comply with the form’s requirements, read through its instructions carefully before you get to your first day of work.