In my practice I have noticed that many employers ask prospective employers to bring their driver's license and social security card with them on their first day of work. I am certain that employers only ask for the driver's license and social security card in order to simplify the I-9 process for everyone involved.
The one million dollar question is whether it is ok for employers to do this? The answer is a resounding NO.
Form I-9 includes a List of Acceptable Documents that the worker can produce in order to prove their identity and that they are authorized to work in the United States. It is unlawful for employers to require that potential employees produce certain forms of identification off of the List of Acceptable Documents.
The government really requires that the employee produce one of the documents listed in from List A from the List of Acceptable Documents or one document from List B and one document from List C.
Only one document is required if the potential employee produces a document off of List A because the List A documents establish both identity and employment authorization. Form I-9 requires one document off of List B to be accompanied by a document from List C because List B documents only establish identity while List C documents only establish employment authorization.
It is in the employer's best interest to give the prospective employee a copy of the I-9 List of Acceptable Documents and inform them to produce document from List A or one document from List B and List C to the employer within three days after employment has begun instead of simply telling them to show up with their driver's license and social security card.
Asking for only the driver's license and security card is an excellent example of why it is imperative for the I-9 administrators in every business to receive proper training. Practices such as this could seem like minor details to many employers but they could lead to hefty fines by Immigration Customs Enforcement ("ICE") if they are discovered during an ICE I-9 audit.
Pat Mack, Attorney at Law
Corporate Immigration Practice