Employers Should Review Form I-9 for SSN Glitch
Author: Rena Pirsos, XpertHR Legal Editor
April 17, 2017
Employers that downloaded Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, between November 14 and November 17, 2016, are advised to immediately review any of the forms they used to ensure their employees' Social Security numbers (SSNs) appear correctly in Section 1. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has discovered a "glitch" that occurred when the revised Form I-9 was first published on November 14, 2016.
When employees completed and printed Section 1 of the affected form using a computer, numbers entered in the SSN field were automatically changed. For example, if an employee entered the number 123-45-6789 in the SSN field, the number would appear as 123-34-6789 when the form printed.
Employers using any I-9s that contain this error are advised to download and save a new Form I-9. These employers should also tell affected employees to draw a line through the transposed SSN in Section 1 of their printed forms, enter the correct SSN, and then initial and date the change. These employers should also include a written explanation with the affected I-9s about why the correction was made in case there is a future audit.
USCIS notes that it immediately repaired and reposted the form on November 17, 2016, so any forms printed out after that date would not have been affected.
The importance of correctly completing Form I-9 cannot be understated. Employers and employees are required to complete the form to both verify the identity of their employees and confirm that the employees are authorized to work in the US. Employers are prohibited from knowingly hiring or continuing to employ an unauthorized individual and can be subject to monetary and/or criminal penalties for hiring or continuing to employ an unauthorized individual.