Repeal of Colorado's Employment Verification Law Relieves Extra Burden on Colorado Employers

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 6/23/16 |
  • 4:17 PM
Repeal of Colorado's Employment Verification Law Relieves Extra Burden on Colorado Employers

At J. Kent Staffing, we recognize the importance of employing a legal and diverse workforce. This diverse workforce contributes greatly to the vibrancy and strength of our Denver and national economies, but at the same time, that vibrancy and strength also attracts unathorized employment. 

U.S. law requires companies like J. Kent Staffing to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. Therefore, to remain compliant, J. Kent spends a great deal of its resources on verifying and documenting the legal employment eligibility of each of our newly-hired staff members--a costly, labor intensive administrative human resource function. Newly-hired staff members may be working as a J. Kent employee on temporary or temp-to-hire assignments, they may be payrolled on behalf of one of our clients, or they may provide work for J. Kent in a part-time capacity. Regardless, if they are newly hired, they have to be vetted for U.S. employment eligibility.

Denver Staffing Agencies are a Vital Link in Stopping Unauthorized Employment
As a Denver employer since 1979, we understand that we are a vital link in stopping unauthorized employment. J. Kent's extensive employment eligibilty vetting process has included the federal I-9 and E-Verify programs as well as adhering to the Colorado Employment Verification Law.

Colorado Legislature Repeals Colorado Employment Verification Law
In our last blog, Colorado Employment Verification Requirement for Newly-Hired Employees, dated 04/09/2015, we discussed the Colorado law which became effective January 1, 2007. Therefore, we were pleased to hear that, on June 8, 2016, House Bill 19-1114 repeals that state statutory provisons that duplicated much of the employment verification requirements of the federal I-9 forms.This means that as of Aug. 10, Colorado employers no longer need to complete and maintain the state employment verification affirmation form ensuring new hires are legally eligible for employment in the U.S., nor will they have to keep copies of the documents provided by new hires to show their employment eligibility and identity in support of the Form I-9 verification process.

What Colorado Employers Should Do

Newly-Hired Employees  What You Must Do
Now - August 10, 2016
  • Continue to comply with the Colorado employment verification requirements as well as your federal I-9 obligations.
After August 10, 2016
  • You need only comply with your federal I-9 employment verification requirement.
  • Your best practice is to continue to keep those forms for the duration of each employee's employment since the forms were required at the time you hired them.
  • Once an employee is no longer employed by your organization, you may dispose of the Colorado-specific affirmation forms, but continue to retain the I-9 forms for one year after the date employment ends, or three years after the date of hire, whichever is later.

Random Audits Still Are Possible - Law Not Repealed in its Entirety
With the repeal of the additional state verification requirements, the fines and penalities for failure to comply with those requirements under state law are repealed as well. However, the law retains the provisions allowing the director of the Colorado Division of Labor to request documentation from employers and conduct random audits of employers to ensure compliance with Form I-9 obligations and stating that the statute is to be enforced in a nondiscriminatory fashion. This means that prior to Aug. 10, employers must comply with both the Colorado employment verification requirements and their federal Form I-9 obligations, but after that date they need only comply with the federal Form I-9 employment verification requirements.

The information above does not constitute legal advice. Employers and staffing agencies should consult a Colorado labor or employment attorney with additional questions, or for guidance and more information.


Source: Department of Homeland Secruity, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, State of Colorado, Colorado General Assembly

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