At a recent presentation on Form I-9 compliance a participant asked: “Isn’t E-Verify just an electronic replacement for the I-9 form?” This a great question and I am glad someone asked it because knowing the answer is critical to compliance with federal employment regulations. The answer is a resounding, “NO!” The E-Verify program does not replace the I-9 and participating in E-Verify does not remove an employer’s obligations to comply with the I-9 process. There remains a fair amount of confusion about the I-9, which has been described by a colleague as “deceptively simple” and indeed it is. Simply recording an employee’s name incorrectly or waiting until the fourth day of hire to complete the form constitute violations and if an employer isn’t careful the potential fines in the event of an audit can be enormous.

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