OSC Guidance on Pre-Population of Section 1 of the Form I-9

To avoid providing outdated or inaccurate information and depriving an employee with limited English proficiency (LEP) from understanding the accuracy of information on the form, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) discourages employers from pre-populating section 1 of the Form I-9 with previously obtained information from the employee.

"From the perspective of the anti-discrimination provision, OSC discourages the practice of an employer pre-populating Section 1 with previously obtained employee information. This practice increases the likelihood of including inaccurate or outdated information in Section 1 (for instance, from changes in legal name, address, or immigration or citizenship status). Outdated or inaccurate information in Section 1 may lead an employer to reject documents presented or demand specific documents for Section 2 purposes. This is particularly true if an employer does not provide an opportunity for the employee to review the information that was pre-populated and does not build in a method for making corrections. Further, if an employer uses the outdated or inaccurate information to submit an E-Verify query, a mismatch may result because the status or name in government databases conflicts with the employer's outdated information."

"Moreover, employers relying on previously gathered employee information may be more likely to overlook that a particular employee has limited English proficiency ("LEP") because Section 1 has been pre-populated by the employer. As a result, the employer may fail to provide that employee with translation or interpretation assistance in order to ensure the accuracy of Section 1 and in order to assist the employee in understanding the request for documents relating to Section 2."

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