I-9 Audits, Fines, & Compliance
Whether you or your company has been issued a “Notice of Inspection” (NOI) or a “Notice of Intent to Fine” (NOIF), the attorneys at Solow, Isbell, & Palladino can help. We are also available to provide I-9 Consulting services so that when you are issued a NOI you are ready.
Since November 1986, every new hire must complete Section 1 of the I-9 form attesting to the individual’s identity and employment eligibility on the first day of employment. Within the first three days of hire, employers must complete Section 2 of the I-9 by examining original documents of identity and employment authorization, recording the starting date of employment, noting the document number(s) on the form and certifying by signature under penalty of perjury that the documents examined appear to be genuine and relate to the employee.
Non-compliance with I-9 requirements can result in serious sanctions, including civil fines, criminal penalties, exclusion from government contracts, or court orders requiring payment of back pay or the hiring of a particular individual.
If Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) believes that your company has violated I-9 requirements, they can impose harsh civil and even criminal penalties. For example, civil sanctions can be imposed as follows for knowingly hiring or continuously employing an unauthorized individual:
- First offense — $375 to $3,200 per worker
- Second offense — $3,200 to $6,500 per worker
- Third offense — $4,300 to $16,000 per worker
Government audits of an employer’s I-9 forms are now commonplace. Upon receipt of an “Notice of Inspection” (NOI), company representatives should contact immigration counsel immediately. An employer must be given three days’ notice before an audit may take place, although additional time may often be negotiated. The government is entitled to inspect the I-9 forms and to request a list of current and terminated employees. The parameters of the audit do not allow the government to review personnel forms, speak with employees or enter the company’s nonpublic areas.
As a pre-emptive measure, our attorneys at Solow, Isbell, & Palladino are available to conduct a thorough review of your company’s I-9 compliance. Reviewing the I-9 forms provides an employer the opportunity to correct existing technical violations, train company representatives responsible for I-9 completion and tracking, and help develop compliance procedures.
If you have been issued a “Notice of Intent to Fine” (NOIF) our attorneys can assist in requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge and/or negotiating a lower fine.