Employers’ Best Practices for I-9 Compliance


By Katia Desrouleaux Bowman
​Partner, Taylor Porter

The Employment Eligibility Verification Form or, Form I-9 is the tool employers are required to use to verify the identity and work authorization of every employee (with some rare exceptions), regardless of citizenship. The law that requires such verification is the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), whose purpose is to thwart illegal immigration to the United States and the employment of unauthorized workers by U.S. employers. As a general rule, employers must timely complete and retain the Form I-9 for each employee, including U.S. citizens, hired on or after November 6, 1986.

Employers should heed the intricacies of the I-9 process and implement necessary measures to both attain and maintain compliance.

These individuals can lawfully work in the U.S.:

  • U.S. citizens
  • non-citizen nationals
  • lawful permanent residents
  • asylees
  • refugees
  • aliens authorized to work

* Unauthorized workers are not protected under the law.

Employers’ Best Practices for I-9 Compliance

  • Have a written policy on how to handle Form I-9
  • Apply your I-9 policy and practices​ uniformly for all employees
  • Assure that your HR staff is trained in the I-9 verification process
  • Contact your lawyer if you receive a Notice of Inspection (NOI)
  • Conduct yearly internal audits -​ especially if yours is a successor​ company that inherited I-9 Forms​ from its predecessor company(ies)
  • Complete Forms I-9 for your​ employees immediately, if you were required, but altogether failed, to do so. Better late than never!
  • Use the most recent version of the Form I-9 for all verifications and re-verifications
  • Do NOT erase, white-out or back-date, when making corrections to Form I-9
  • Do NOT re-verify employees with a permanent right to work in the United States, including U.S. citizens and​ permanent residents
  • Do NOT knowingly hire or continue to employ individuals who are not​ authorized to work in the United States
  • Do NOT hire any individuals without​ verifying their identity and work​ authorization through the I-9​ verification process
  • Do NOT use the verification process to discriminate against individuals based on citizenship, national origin or​ citizenship status
  • Do NOT require an employee to​ present more or different documents than minimally required for​ employment verification
  • Do NOT refuse to accept original​ documents (from the I-9 List of​ Acceptable Documents) that appear on their face to be reasonably genuine and appear to relate to the employee

​​About Katia Bowman: Katia Bowman is a Taylor Porter partner who practices primarily civil and appellate litigation. She has defended the interests of public and private clients in personal injury, insurance defense, contract disputes, public utilities, unfair trade practice, civil rights, education, retaliation, defamation, wrongful termination, discrimination, and general tort matters. In her employment-based immigration law practice, Katia advises U.S. employers regarding compliance with the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 process). She also advises employers of foreign workers on the employment-based visa petition process (EB visa categories). Katia assists not only U.S. employers, but also foreign workers and students desiring to enter the U.S. workforce legally, in connection with the nonimmigrant worker visa process (including H visas). A native of Haiti, Katia herself came to the United States on a student visa (F-1). Her transition of status from F-1 to legal permanent resident and, ultimately, naturalized citizen uniquely qualifies her to help U.S. companies and foreign workers and students navigate the complex and often lengthy immigration process. Driven by her own experience and passion to facilitate and empower the employment of foreign labor in the United States within the guidelines provided by law, Katia proudly devotes her career to assisting American companies and foreign workers with their immigration needs. Katia is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). Katia serves as the chair of the Taylor Porter Diversity Committee.

Disclaimer & Privacy

This website is for general information purposes only. Information posted is not intended to be legal advice. For more information, please see our Disclaimer message.

Share this Post:

See how we can help. Contact us today

8th Floor • 450 Laurel Street • Baton Rouge, LA 70801 • 225-387-3221

  • Disclaimer
  • © Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips L.L.P. All rights reserved.