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, Hartnett and Galvan can assist you. We are also available to provide Consulting services regarding I-9 compliance so that in the event you are issued a NOI you are prepared.
Starting in November of 1986 every new hire has been required to complete Section 1 of the I-9 form attesting to the individual’s identity and employment eligibility on their first day of employment. Before the 3rd day of hire has passed employers are responsible to 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.
Extreme sanctions including criminal penalties, civil fines, exclusion from government contracts, or court orders requiring payment of back pay or the hiring of a particular individual can be results of non-compliance with I-9 requirements.
Harsh civil and even criminal penalties could be imposed if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) believes that your company has violated I-9 requirements. For example, knowingly hiring or continuously employing an unauthorized individual the following civil sanctions are possible:
- 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
Audits of an employer’s I-9 forms are now quite commonplace by by the government authorities. Upon receipt of an “Notice of Inspection” (NOI), company representatives should immediately pursue immigration counsel. All employers must be given three days’ notice before an audit may take place, and additional time can generally be negotiated. Not only is the government entitled to inspect the I-9 forms they are also able to request a list of current and terminated employees. However, during an audit, the government is restricted from reviewing personnel forms, speaking with employees, and even entering the company’s nonpublic areas.
As a pre-emptive measure, the attorneys of Solow, Hartnett and Galvan 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 train company representatives responsible for I-9 completion and tracking, help develop compliance procedures, and correct existing technical violations.
If you have been issued a “Notice of Intent to Fine” (NOIF) our attorneys can assist in both negotiating a lower fine and also requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.
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