Labor & Employment Law Primer: I-9 Form

Q:  What is an I-9?I-9

A:  Former known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is a U.C. Citizenship and Immigration Service (UCIS) form.   Employers are required to fill out an I-9 for all new hires.  I-9 is used by an employer to verify an employee’s identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States

Q:  Are there different versions of I-9?

A:  Yes, the latest edition of the I-9 form was issued on 3/8/2013.  No previous versions of the I-9 is accepted by UCIS.

Q:  Where can I find the latest version of the I-9?

A:  You can download a copy of the current I-9 form here

Q:  What are the changes to the I-9 requirements?

A:  The form now has 2 pages, requires additional reporting information for audit purposes, and has changes to the list of acceptable documents.

Q: Am I responsible if my new hires uses fake ID’s.

A: In some circumstances. Do you really want to take the chance?

Q:  What happens if a business does not follow I-9 procedures?

A:  Penalties include Criminal Prosecutions, Administrative Sanctions, and Debarment from government Contracts for 1-3 years.

Q:  What are the real chances of getting caught?

A:  It’s hard to say but ICE has increased worksite inspections exponentially every y ear since 2011.  In FY 2012, ICE conducted more than 3,000 worksite inspections.  ICE issued 495 final fine notices totaling more than $12.4 million.  520 individuals were criminally arrested.

Q: What is an ICE audit?

A: An administrative inspection process is initiated by the service of a Notice of Inspection (NOI) on an employer compelling the production of Forms I-9 within three business days. ICE agents usually request the employer provide supporting documentation, such as a copy of the payroll, list of current employees, Articles of Incorporation, and business licenses. These documents should match the I-9 form. ICE agents or auditors then conduct an inspection of the Forms I-9 for compliance. When technical or procedural violations are found, an employer is given ten business days to make corrections. Monetary fines for all substantive and uncorrected technical violations. Employers determined to have knowingly hired or continued to employ unauthorized workers will be required to cease the unlawful activity, may be fined, and in certain situations may be criminally prosecuted.

Q: What is a compliance audit.

A: Private law firms like the Tran Law Firm can review a company’s I-9 documentations and help companies set up I-9 compliance process and training.

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