Ask An Expert: How Long To Keep I9 Files

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How long do I9 files have to be kept? Do I need to destroy them after a certain amount of years?

In A Nutshell: Keep them for 3 years from hire date or 1 year from termination.

More Explanation: I9 requirements include employers keeping I9’s for 3 years from date of hire or 1 year from termination, whichever is greater. We always make the recommendation to clients that they keep an I9 calendar to track compliance related to initial (3 day) completion, reverification/work authorization expiration, and document retention. [Tip: Or let WorkBrightdo the compliance piece for you!]

Regarding document retention, the only rule is related to how long you keep the docs - not what you do after you’ve met that requirement. Companies should make sure they dispose of I9s properly (keeping an eye on privacy and security since they contain extremely sensitive info) and in compliance with a document retention policy - if they have one. You don’t want the DOL to audit and try to fine you for 200 incorrect I9s that should have been tossed years ago.

Meet The Expert: Michael Cohen, Suitless - Suitless Inc. adds value to fast-growth technology companies by providing HR, legal, and tax services, minus the suit and ties. Suitless works with companies that plan to quickly hire 5 or more employees and have at least 500k in revenue or financing. Learn more here…

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