Procedural change adds urgency to required form for new hires

Completing an I-9 form to establish an employee's identity and eligibility to work in the United States is a required onboarding step for new hires. A recent procedural change has heightened the urgency for new employees and their supervisors to promptly complete the federally mandated hiring document in Workday.

Effective Dec. 1, university human resources (UHR) runs a report every Monday to determine if any new employees didn't complete an I-9 as of the previous Friday. Noncompliant employees and their supervisors receive a message Tuesday warning that the new hire could be separated if they don't complete an I-9. If an I-9 isn't finished within three days of the Tuesday notice, the employee is dismissed from Iowa State employment the following Monday. The new policy shortens the separation timeline by one week.

The new procedure notifies supervisors of the separation warning earlier, which helps speed up the process, said Ed Holland, UHR benefits director.

"Campus is getting much better at this and there is no need for multiple communications," he said. "Employees should have the I-9 completed before or on their first day of work and, at the latest, within three days of hire. This action gets us much closer to this standard."

Submitting an I-9 is a three-step process that begins when the employee fills out the form in Workday. Next, employees must bring qualifying identification documents (a U.S. passport or a driver's license along with a social security card, for instance) to the UHR service center. International employees instead bring their documents to the international students and scholars office (ISSO).

The final step is in Workday, where employees select the to-do item in their inbox indicating they have visited the service center or the ISSO office to show their identification documents. Employees must click the orange "Submit" button and the orange "Done" button to finish.

When hiring new employees, supervisors should remind them they will have onboarding tasks in their Workday inbox, including the I-9. Hiring managers can run an "onboarding status summary" report in Workday to view the onboarding progress of a new hire.

Supervisors also should make sure that the hire date listed in Workday matches an employee's actual start date. If a generic placeholder hire date is entered for an employee who won't begin working by that date, it could cause issues for the newly hired employee's I-9 and when eligible benefits go into effect.