Keep Immigration Forms Separate From The Rest of Your Document Retention Files

The Immigration Act form, just a note here, the I-9 is more than likely very familiar to you all. If you’re not already using it, you should be on notice and start using immediately the new I-9 form that’s been issued by the immigration control authorities. You can, if you have trouble finding a copy of that, you can typically find that on the INS website so just know that you need to be getting that. These forms need to be maintained in a separate file. We don’t advise that I-9 forms be kept in with the rest of your document retention files for two reasons, basically.

Number one is for ease of the government’s access. If the immigration authorities come knocking at your door and ask to see your I-9 forms, it’s much better for you to be able to pull out one file with everyone’s I-9 forms and hand them right over, all right. Instead of having to go diving in and out of the entire document retention system and everyone’s personal files or even worse, opening up all of your personal files to their inspection.

And also, you don’t want these in the personal file to avoid discrimination issues. For example, national origin might be one. National origin is something that may not be evident to everybody. And it would probably just be best if, you know, say a supervisor is reviewing a personnel file that they not have information at their fingertips that they really don’t need to make their decision. The national origin shouldn’t be entering into their promotion or their demotion decision. So, it certainly doesn’t need to be put in front of them in the document retention system.

Edited Remarks from “Personnel Document Retention: What to Keep, How to Keep & Why It Matters” by Matt Gilley

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