I-9 / IRCA | Legal Worker | IRCA Anti-Discrimination | Form I-9 Compliance & Auditing | More Information
WHO IS A LEGAL WORKER: HOW CAN I TELL?
The employee must present documents establishing their identity and employment authorization to accept employment in the United States. Acceptable documents that establish both identity and employment authorization according to the new I-9 as of Aril 3, 2009 are:
The employer must examine each document presented and record information concerning the documents, including document identification numbers and expiration dates. Employers should establish procedures to re-check documents with expiration dates, such as non-immigrant visas, I-94 cards and CIS Employment Authorization Documents.
Illustrations of these documents can be found in Part 8 of the Handbook for Employers (M-274).
The employer must examine each document presented and record information concerning the documents, including document identification numbers and expiration dates. Employers should establish procedures to re-check documents with expiration dates, such as nonimmigrant visas, I-94 cards and USCIS Employment Authorization Documents.
Managing I-9 documentation and verification is a significant challenge for employers across the United States. Companies want to confirm an employee's work status as soon as possible and meet the I-9 compliance guidelines. Egregious violations could lead to aggressive criminal prosecution. The damage to a company's brand, morale, and reputation could be devastating.
Regardless of a company's size, location, or industry, the DHS is increasingly enforcing immigration compliance standards and sanctioning companies with poor records. Criminal penalties and arrests for immigration-related violations continue to grow every year.
IRCA Anti-Discrimination Rules
While all employers should be diligent about complying with IRCA's employment verification rules, they should also be cautious not to overstep boundaries such that qualified prospective employees are penalized. IRCA requires employers to refrain from unfair immigration-related employment practices (UIREP). The Act prohibits employers from committing employment discrimination against a worker because of his or her citizenship status or national origin. Employers are also prohibited from committing "document abuse" in the employment verification process. Document abuse occurs when an employer requests more or different documentation of a worker's identity or employment authorization, or refuses to accept proper documents. IRCA's anti-discrimination rules are very clear and its sanctions could be very severe. Under IRCA, employers cannot refuse to employ or terminate the employment of individuals based on their national origin or citizenship status. UIREP violations are investigated and litigated by the Office of Special Counsel, a Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. The Office of Special Counsel has caused employers to pay over $1 million in back-pay to workers, has required employers to rehire workers, and has levied fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Penalties: IRCA provides an array of penalties for employment violations. An employer who has committed "paperwork violations" for mistakes in completing I-9 forms or failure to maintain I-9 records is subject to penalties of $110 to $1,100 for each violation. An employer who knowingly hires or continues to employ foreign nationals not authorized to work in the United States is subject to first offense civil fines of $250 to $2,200 for each unauthorized worker, and fines of up to $11,000 for subsequent offenses. In addition, if it is established that the employer had a "pattern or practice" of knowingly hiring or continuing to employ unauthorized workers, criminal penalties, including fines and prison terms, are possible. Employers who commit document fraud – e.g., fraudulently completing an I-9 form or knowingly accepting a forged or counterfeit document for verification purposes – are subject to first offense fines of up to $2,200 for each occurrence and up to $5,500 for subsequent offenses. In addition, employers who knowingly hire or continue to employ unauthorized workers may be barred from participating in contracting relationships with the federal government. Note that IRCA penalties may also be assessed against an employer who used unauthorized workers through a relationship with an independent contractor and who knew or had reason to know that the workers were ineligible for employment in the United States.
FORM I-9 COMPLIANCE AUDITING & CONSULTING SERVICES
Immigration Compliance Group is focused on proactively aiding our clients in developing and maintaining compliant immigration related employment practices. Our firm provides comprehensive I-9 policy review and consulting, step-by-step transition plans, training sessions, assistance in developing new hire procedures, reporting and communications, audits and conversion of historical data, and government audit support service. As part of our process, we will also work with you to make any corrections required on your employees I-9 Forms. Our I-9 Auditing and Compliance Services will assist employers in:
HOW Immigration Compliance Group CAN HELP YOU
Immigration Compliance Group works proactively with its clients to provide comprehensive assistance in developing and maintaining best practices necessary to assure compliance with USCIS, ICE, SSA and DOL regulations.
Employer compliance is becoming more complex and enforcement (investigations and audits) is increasing. In order to effectively deal with these issues and avoid the very severe consequences for non-compliance, employers must take the time to develop a strategy and be prepared in advance with an Immigration Compliance Program.
Immigration Compliance Group will customize such a program for you and will provide onsite or telephonic training, consulting, and document auditing in all of the areas mentioned above, as well as provide ongoing compliance updates. For more information on our services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Compliance Group | Long Beach, CA | 1.562.612.3996 | email@example.com