Ensuring all I-9 forms are compliant when onboarding a new hire can be an excruciating task. However, maintaining compliance is necessary, otherwise it can lead to hefty fines. According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) fines have skyrocketed to over $10 million. ICE also issued over 3,000 Notices of Inspection (NOI) in FY 2012.
What industries does ICE target? Primarily restaurants, retail, and hospitality due to high turnover rates, hourly workforce wages, and hiring a large number of immigrants, as well as high school diploma or below – educated employees. If I-9 forms are not completed accurately, it may result in a fine of $110 to $1,100 per employee, depending on the percentage of non-compliant or missing forms. ICE also has the right to increase or decrease fines based on employer size, good faith of employer, and violation type.
Here are just a few examples of businesses that have been fined by ICE these past few years. In California, a small Mexican restaurant, La Hacienda Mexican Cafe was fined more than $22,400 for not completing I-9 forms for 24 of their employees. In Maryland, Tandoori Nights who maintains around 39 employees, faced a hefty fine of $90,508 based on 10 non-compliant forms. In Colorado, Empire Dairy received a fine of $49,500 based on 62 non-compliant forms, with a total of 76 employees.
As you can see, these fines can be detrimental to your business. So, how do you avoid fines? Here are 8 ways to reduce your risk of I-9 non-compliance.
- Make sure all employees complete the form I-9.
- Review and make sure all sections of the form have been completed properly.
- Ensure section 1 is completed by employee no later than the first day of employment.
- Complete section 2 within three business days thereafter.
- Examine documents provided by employee validating their identity, and record the information on the form I-9.
- Use E-Verify to ensure legal workforce.
- File and retain form I-9 for three years from the date of hire or one year from the date of termination, whichever is later.
- Use a secure, online onboarding system such as GoHire, which ensures completion of form I-9, provides the option of E-Verify, and stores all forms virtually.
Being compliant is important and should be taken seriously. Paperless onboarding your employees with a system like GoHire provides the security of form I-9 completions and proper storage of forms so that maintaining compliance is stress-free. Take the next step at ensuring compliance so you don’t get frozen by ICE. Go paperless and onboard online with GoHire!
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues. To learn more about I-9 compliance, go to http://www.uscis.gov.
Jodi Sabol | Marketing Consultant | Red Book Connect