Employers Get Extension for Completing Identification Documentation for Workers Displaced by Hurricane

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is informing employers today that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will not sanction employers for hiring workers displaced by Hurricane Katrina who are unable to provide Employment and Eligibility Verification (I-9) documentation normally required under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

U.S. employers must complete and retain Employment and Eligibility Verification (I-9) forms for individuals they hire. The form requires them to verify employment eligibility and establish identity through original documents presented by the employee. Many workers who were affected by Hurricane Katrina lack these documents after being evacuated from their homes, losing their personal items and property to damage, and being placed in temporary housing.

The Department of Homeland Security will refrain from initiating employer sanction enforcement actions for the next 45 days for civil violations. After 45 days, the federal agency will review the policy. Employers still will need to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form as much as possible but should note that the documentation normally required is not available due to events involving Hurricane Katrina.

For more information about the Employment and Eligibility Verification (I-9) form, visit the TWC Web site at www.texasworkforce.org or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at http://uscis.gov/graphics/howdoi/faqeev.htm.

The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically. For details on TWC and the programs it offers in unison with its network of local workforce development boards, call (512) 463-8556 or visit www.texasworkforce.org.

Source:  Press Release from Texas Workforce Commission, Austin, Texas.