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Checklist: Make Sure Employment Practices Comply with IRCA

Employers often find that ensuring compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) can be tricky. This handy checklist will help employers who are establishing their practices and will serve as a confirmation tool for those employers who believe they have a compliant practice.

  1. __  Put an informed person in charge. Designate a company representative who has authority to hire new employees and make sure that this person has a complete understanding of IRCA’s requirements.
  2. __  Formulate a system of document examination and verification consistent with IRCA. Limit the number of persons authorized to examine these documents and give them a checklist of acceptable identity and employment authorization documents.
  3. __  Implement standard procedures for completing Form I-9. In using standard procedures, the employer will be less likely to commit unintentional violations of IRCA, including its antidiscrimination provisions.
  4. __  Establish a system for retaining verification documents and completed Forms I-9. This system should be separate from the employer’s normal personnel records system to ensure limited unauthorized access to Form I-9 and verification documents. Employers should also regularly purge Forms I-9 that they’re no longer required to maintain under IRCA.
  5. __  Establish a “self-audit” review procedure. Review Forms I-9 periodically to make sure that they’re complete and accurate. Monitor the expiration dates of documents presented to establish employment eligibility by a “reminder” system.
  6. __  Be aware of IRCA’s antidiscrimination provisions. A United States citizen may be hired over a resident alien when both are equally qualified, but it’s unlawful to discriminate or refuse to hire individuals because of their national origin or alien status.
  7. __ Remember that California has its own “unfair immigration-related practices.” These include asking for more or different documents than required under IRCA to verify eligibility, or refusing to honor documents that on their face reasonably appear to be genuine. Violations can result in penalties up to $10,000, so employers should exercise caution.

To understand IRCA and other immigration law requirements and to get practical advice for complying with them, turn to CEB’s Advising California Employers and Employees, chap 4. And check out CEB’s Drafting Employment Documents for California Employers chap 2 for a sample immigration compliance policy and a step-by-step guide for Form I-9 compliance.

Other CEBblog™ posts you may find useful:

© The Regents of the University of California, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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