Affirmation of Legal Work Status: Everything You Need to Know
An affirmation of legal work status in the state of Colorado means that the employer has verified the four eligibility components necessary for employment.3 min read
What Is an Affirmation of Legal Work Status?
An affirmation of legal work status in the state of Colorado means that the employer has verified the four eligibility components necessary for employment. These components include the following:
- The employer has examined the employee's legal status to be employed.
- The employer has copies of the required documents under 8 U.S.C. sec. 1324a.
- There has been no falsification of the employee's identification documents by the employer.
- The employer acknowledges that he or she is not knowingly hiring an unauthorized alien.
What Does the Affirmation of Legal Work Status Form Include?
When the affirmation of legal work status form is filled out in the state of Colorado, the information on the form will include the printed name of the employer, their title, and their signature. The information on the form may be from either the employer or from someone who has been designated as a representative of the company.
The business name, the employer's name or that of the designated representative, and the date that the affirmation of legal work status form was signed will be on the document.
What Is Required of Colorado Employers Regarding Employment Verification?
An affirmation of employment form is the responsibility of the employer. The employer has 20 days from the date of hire to complete the form.
When filling out the form, it is advised that an employer does not go back, after the fact, and complete the form, fill in any information, or make copies if copies have not been made of the employee's identification and employment authorization information. To do so is not in compliance with Colorado state law and potentially puts the employer in a position of violating separate federal immigration laws.
Employers should make every effort to complete the employment verification process within the 20-day window to be in compliance with the state.
Changes to Employment Verification Requirements
As of June 8, 2016, Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 16-1114, which revoked duplicated state statutory provisions about employment verification requirements on the federal I-9 form. The fines and punishments that were in place for employers who failed to abide by state requirements have also been repealed.
Section 8-2-122 has not been completely removed from the legislation. The provision for the Colorado Division of Labor director to request proof of documentation is still in force. This means that at any time, an employer may be called on to supply documentation that the I-9 employment verification requirements follow state legislation. Random audits can take place at any time by the director or a representative to make sure an employer is following the I-9 employment verification requirements.
What Is Required of Colorado Employers?
With the change to legislation, employees hired on or after August 10, 2016, are now only required to comply with the employment verification requirements on the federal I-9 form.
On section 1 of the I-9 form, the information must be completed by the employee and signed by the employee prior to or no later than their first day on the job. Employers, for their part, must complete Section 2 of the I-9 form. Employers have three business days prior to an employee's first day on the job to examine the employee's identification and employment authorization.
An employee's employment affirmation form may be disposed of, but their I-9 form must be kept on file for three years from the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is the latest date. It is recommended that Colorado employers maintain copies of the forms affirming and authorizing employment for those employees hired after August 10, 2016.
Employers are not required to send a copy of any of the employment verification forms to the Colorado Division of Labor, but copies may be requested at a future date.
What Is the Penalty for Non-Compliance With Colorado's Verification Law?
Previously, employers not in compliance with the retention of the affirmation form or any other supporting document, were subject to fines. These included a $5,000 fine for the first offense. A second offense or subsequent offenses could be up to $25,000. With the signing of House Bill 16-1114, these fines were repealed.
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