How Often Can My Employer Demand a New I-9 Form

I am an employee at a legal temp agency.  I have worked for the agency for going-on two years.  I obviously provided an I-9 form to the agency when I was hired.  A year later I received a call that their parent company had been purchased and the new parent company wanted to update their I-9 materials so they could confirm that they were compliant.  No problem, I updated my materials.

 Last week they contacted me again and informed me that I need to provide them with a new I-9 form and all corresponding material immediately.  I explained to them that I provided them with the information last year and the year before.  They told me it was "company policy" to recertify every year. 

 Now, because this is a temp agency I don't work on premises, it's about a 1/2 hour+ each way from their offices.  When I asked if I would receive compensation they told me that I should simply charge the hour/hour and a half in travel time to the company I am working for (this seems to me completely unethical).

 Can I refuse to give them another one?  What are my rights here?  Why might they have made this "company policy"?  I have no issues filling out necessary paperwork but I have a huge problem having ever increasing documents they don't need with my social on them.  If they are this bad at record keeping I have no interest in giving them my information again? 

Any help or advice would be appreciated.  Thanks.


  • 4 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • What a mess!

    I don't know of any rule that limits the number of times an employer can ask for a new I-9. In fact, USCIS recommends that employers who have aquired an existing business do so even though they aren't required to because the new employer would be responsible for any errors, omissions or deficiencies in the acquired records.

    On the other hand, repeated requests for I-9 filings might open an employer up to discrimination charges if the process is not administered fairly.

    The employer that you get your pay check from is responsible for the I-9, so it would appear to be wrong to charge the client company for the time needed to get the form filled out.

    USCIS does allow a procedure for I-9 filing and document verification for employees who work at remote locations. According to the USCIS website:
    "It is not unusual for a U.S. employer to hire a new employee who doesn’t physically come to that employer’s offices to complete paperwork. In such cases, employers may designate agents to carry out their I-9 responsibilities. Agents may include notaries public, accountant, attorneys, personnel officers, foremen, etc. An employer should choose an agent cautiously, since it will be held responsible for the actions of that agent. Note: Employers should not carry out I-9 responsibilities by means of documents faxed by a new employee or through identifying numbers appearing on acceptable documents. The employer must review original documents. Likewise, Forms I-9 should not be mailed to a new employee to complete Section 2 himself or herself."

    You might want to suggest that your employer follow this procedure. You also might want to find out if there is a legitimate reason for collecting new I-9s such as a change in ownership.

  • I agree with ERISAMaven for the most part, but I think there is an implicit limit in the number of times an employer can ask for I-9 documents. You can't ask for more than is required to complete the I-9 form and reverification is only required if the employee has a work authorization with an expiration date. Employers are only required to fill it out when an individual is hired. So, if there isn't a change in ownership at the company, then requiring employees who have valid I-9s on file to fill them out every year seems like a problem to me. I guess a temp agency might say you are rehired for each assignment, but that is a stretch.  Interesting question.

  • i agree that the availability of recertification is limited to certain expired documents and transfer of ownership.
  • I know that it seems like a problem when an employer aska employees to fill ot new I-9s every year; but I don't know that it can't be done. The collection of I-9s is the employer's responsibility; the law doesn't require employees to fill them out; it just requires employers to fire an employee who doesn't fill one out and provide documentation within 3 days of hire.

    If employment is at-will an employer can demand that employees fill out an I-9 or any other form as often as the employer wants. Maybe an insecure employer is nervous thatit didn't collect the I-9s correctly in the past. So, unless there is a compelling public policy reason, I think that employers can ask for I-9s as often as they want.

    That being said, I think that repetedly asking for I-9s could be seen as a suttle form of harassment of non-citizens.

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