If ICE calls, is your company ready for an I-9 audit?
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been enforcing I-9 compliance audits recently, and many employers could use some help getting ready - especially considering that once ICE shows up you only have 2 business days to get ready.
The I-9 form was mandated by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, and it is meant to verify the identity and employment authorization of every worker. All United States employers are required to ensure compliance, by getting all individuals hired to fill the first part of the form on their date of hire, and filling the rest themselves within 3 days.
When employees’ forms I-9 are filled and signed, they are basically affirming under oath that they are eligible to work, and that they are either:
- A U.S. citizen,
- A U.S. non-citizen national,
- A lawful permanent resident or
- An alien with work authorization.
The best way to prepare for that ICE audit is to have an attorney come over and do an inspection of your workforce ahead of time, both making sure all forms are filled and that the documents backing them are correct and sound. This is especially worth it if you consider that there is a $10,000 fine for each employee who does not have an I9 on their file. Additionally, employers who do not comply with I-9 enforcement can be barred from federal government contracts for a year
Our firm has done form I-9 audits for companies with as many as 300-500 employees. Give us a call and we will be happy to talk about your options in detail.