From the Hotline: New I-9’s Needed for Company Split?

Question: Our firm split into two companies. One kept its federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) while the other got a new EIN. Should the company that branched off do new I-9 forms for the employees they took with them? They have their original personnel folders.

Answer: Whether or not the employer processes new I-9 forms will be an internal decision. It depends how the employee transaction was handled. Was there a termination and a rehire? If so, new I-9 forms should always be completed and verified as new hires, otherwise the employer may choose to hold onto the employees’ original I-9 forms.

However, employers who choose to complete new I-9 forms should enter the effective date of the acquisition or merger as the date each employee began employment in Section 2 of the new form. Employers who choose to keep the previously completed I-9 form accept responsibility for any errors or omissions on those forms. Therefore, it is best practice to initiate the process of newly completed I-9 forms when this type of event occurs. It is recommended that each I-9 form be reviewed with the employee to update and reverify the employee’s information, as may be necessary.