Happy New Year! There are two important changes that may impact your business in 2017: updates to the I-9 Form and minimum wage changes.
I-9 Form and Penalty Updates
First, effective January 22, 2017, a revised I-9 Form is required by the Immigration & Customs Enforcement to establish the employee’s identity and authorization to work in the U.S. You may use the older version of the I-9 Form, with a revision date of March 8, 2013, until January 21, 2017.
To avoid possible penalties, employers should start using the revised I-9 Form as soon as possible. Starting August 1, 2016 penalties for I-9 violations increased.
- Employment of individuals who are not authorized to work in the U.S.
- First offender fines previously ranged between $375 and $3,200 per individual.
- Now they will extend from $539 to $4,313.
- Repeat offender fines previously ranged between $4,300 and $16,000.
- They may now be anywhere from $6,469 to $21,563.
- I-9 Form paperwork violations
- Previously, paperwork violations led to fines between $110 and $1,100.
- Now the penalties will range from $216 to $2,156 per infraction.
(For a full listing of penalties, please go to https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/penalties.)
Click here to download the revised I-9 Form: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, the revised I-9 Form offers the following enhancements:
- Easier to complete on a computer (the employer will still need to print the form for signatures but filling out the information on a computer should save time)
- Drop-down lists
- Drop-down calendars for filling in dates
- On-screen instructions for each field
- Easy access to the full instructions
- Option to clear the form and start over
- When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers
As a reminder, the revised I-9 Form is being called a smart form because of the above features. The revised I-9 Form is not electronic I-9 software, so employers that do not use electronic I-9 software will need to continue to print the form for the required signatures. If you are an employer utilizing electronic I-9 software then it is your responsibility to confirm with your vendor that the new form is in place by January 22, 2017.
Minimum Wage Increase
Second, effective January 1, 2017, Ohio has updated the minimum wage increasing wages $0.05 for non-tipped employees to $8.15 and tipped employees to $4.08. Employers who gross less than $299,000 shall pay their employees no less than the current federal minimum wage rate which is $7.25 per hour. Employees under the age of 16 shall be paid no less than the current federal minimum wage rate which is $7.25 per hour.
For assistance or further information, contact Critchfield, Critchfield & Johnston, Ltd. in Wooster at (330) 264-4444; in Medina at (330) 721-7644; in Millersburg at (330) 674-4469; in Mount Vernon at (740) 397-6775; or in Ashland at (419) 289-6888.