Human Resources for Dental Offices: I-9 forms, and payroll debit cards

Human Resources experts answer dentists' questions about their small businesses

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QUESTION: I found some minor errors in our I-9 forms. For example, some have signatures on the wrong line. Is it legal to correct the errors, or do I need to have the forms filled out again? If I do new forms, should I back-date them?

ANSWER: Yes, you can correct minor errors on a Form I-9 by including the correct information. The corrections should be initialed and dated (with the current date) on the original Form I-9, either by the employee (if corrected information is needed in section 1) or by the employer (if corrected information is needed in Sections 2 or 3).

Alternatively, instead of altering the existing forms, you could complete a new Form I-9 with the current date. Retain the old form and staple it to the newly created Form I-9.

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QUESTION: How do payroll debit cards work? Can a business require employees to use payroll debit cards and/or direct deposit?

ANSWER: Payroll debit cards work similarly to a credit card or bank debit card. Every pay day the employer loads the card with the net wages the employee is due to receive. Under every state's laws the employee is entitled to withdraw the entire amount of his or her wages on pay day without any cost. Most payroll debit cards also allow an employee to use the card at automated teller machines, or when making purchases.

You shouldn’t require the use of payroll debit cards or direct deposit. In fact, many states have laws prohibiting mandatory payroll debit cards or direct deposit. Instead, offer the debit card and/or direct deposit as options. Most labor laws state that paying wages through payroll debit cards or direct deposit is perfectly acceptable as long as employees have the option of being paid by check.

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Human Resources Tips for Dental Practices is provided by Tim Twigg and Rebecca Crane of Bent Ericksen & Associates. Tim Twigg is president and Rebecca Crane is a human resource compliance consultant with Bent Ericksen & Associates. For 30 years, the company has been a leading authority in human resource and personnel issues, helping dentists deal successfully with the ever-changing and complex labor laws. To receive a complimentary copy of the company’s quarterly newsletter or to learn more about its services, call (800) 679-2760 or visit

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