Remote Completion of I-9 Forms Authorized

The Department of Homeland Security finalized a rule allowing employers who participate in E-Verify the option of completing the I-9 employment verification form electronically. In response to the summer heat wave, President Biden has directed the Department of Labor to take steps to protect workers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated its technical assistance document on visual disabilities in the workplace. The Senate has confirmed a new EEOC Commissioner.

DHS Issues Rule Allowing Remote Completion of I-9 Form – The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule, effective on August 1st giving employers who participate in E-Verify and are in good standing the option of completing the I-9 employment verification form electronically with a video call. According to DHS, “This important update advances DHS’s mission of safeguarding the integrity of the employment eligibility verification process, while recognizing the realities of the post-COVID economic recovery in which more Americans are working remotely than ever.” The final rule gives DHS the authority to conduct a pilot program allowing remote examination of I-9 forms to a broader group of employers.

Within three business days, employers need to review the documentation provided by new employees to verify their employment eligibility. Employers who opt for remote completion of the I-9 need to indicate on the form that they have chosen an alternative procedure to examine the documentation and retain a legible copy of the documentation provided by employees.

Employers who do not participate in E-Verify have until August 30, 2023, to perform the physical examination of identity and employment authorization documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who have received only a virtual or remote examination under the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities. The final rule also makes modifications to the I-9 form reducing it to only one page and making it accessible on tablets and mobile devices.  Subsequent to publishing the final rule, DHS released the updated I-9 form.

President Takes Steps to Protect Workers from Heat – With large parts of the United States experiencing record setting heat, President Biden has directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to issue a Hazard Alert for heat and to increase its enforcement activities to protect workers from extreme heat. The White House noted that for years, heat has been the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the United States. The Hazard Alert issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) advises workers of heat-related protections that they have under federal law. The alert will provide information to employers on what they should do to protect workers. The steps OSHA indicates employers are responsible for are:


  • Providing adequate cool water, rest brakes and shade or a cool rest area for employees;
  • Giving new or returning employees the chance to gradually get used to working in hot temperatures;
  • Training employees on heat illness prevention, signs of heat illness, and how to act if they or another employee appears to be suffering from a heat-related illness; and
  • Monitoring workers for signs of illness.  


OSHA began a National Emphasis Program on heat in April 2022 and plans to increase inspections with a focus on geographic locations and high-risk industries such as construction and agriculture while the national standard for workplace heat-safety rules is developed.


EEOC Updates Visual Disabilities Technical Assistance – The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated the “Visual Disabilities in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act,” technical assistance document that provides information about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to job applicants and employees with visual disabilities. EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows stated, “Providing reasonable accommodations is an employer’s responsibility. Workers who have vision impairments, including limited or low vision, should be provided with the resources needed to succeed. This document will provide employers the guidance to do so.”


According to the EEOC, the document addresses the following:

  • when an employer may ask an applicant or employee questions about a vision impairment and how an employer should treat voluntary disclosures;
  • what types of reasonable accommodations applicants or employees with visual disabilities may need;
  • how an employer should handle safety concerns about applicants and employees with visual disabilities; and
  • how an employer can ensure that no employee is harassed because of a visual disability.


EEOC Commissioner Approved - The Senate approved the nomination of Kalpana Kotagal to be a commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). With the confirmation, commissioners nominated by Democrats form a majority. Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Kotagal was a civil rights and employment attorney at Cohen Milstein in Washington, D.C. She was first nominated in 2022, but her nomination was not approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education and Pensions. She was renominated this year and subsequently confirmed.


Neil Reichenberg is the former executive director of the International Public Management Association for Human Resources. He is an attorney, a frequent writer and speaker on public policy and human resource issues, and an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University. For questions or additional information, contact Reichenberg at