COVID-19: DHS Announces Flexibility in Requirements Related to Form I-9 Verification

On Friday, DHS announced “flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 verification.”  Under the relaxed requirements, “employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.”  Instead, the documents may be reviewed remotely, and physically review the documents within three days after normal operations resume.  Employers should also enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field, once physical inspection takes place.

These relaxed requirements only apply to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. “If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.” And, “if newly hired employees or existing employees are subject to COVID-19 quarantine or lockdown protocols, DHS will evaluate this on a case-by-case basis.”   An employer can designate anyone to complete and sign Form I-9 on their behalf.Here’s a link to the announcement: