I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification
The Form I-9 is what almost every business in the U.S. is required to use to verify the identity and employment eligibility of each of its employees. This form has been around for 30 years, and use of the current version has been mandatory since September 18, 2017.
The purpose of recent changes has been to make the Form more user-friendly, with both fillable and non-fillable PDF versions, a Spanish version, and 15 pages of instructions all available for free on the USCIS website.
Accompanying these “improvements”, however, are harsher penalties for employers who make mistakes or engage in immigration-related employment discrimination. Failure to comply with I-9 verification requirements, for example, could now mean a fine from $216 to $2,156 per improper or missing I-9. Engaging in a pattern of hiring/recruitment of undocumented workers now not only carries a fine ranging from $539 to $4,313 per incident, but violators could also face 6 months to 5 years in prison. Even ignoring the possibility of jail, $95 million fines are intentionally daunting, and the amount of worksite enforcement by ICE is slated to increase by “four to five times.”
Are you willing to bet $95 million that your business is I-9 compliant? Contact BLG today to assess, not if you've made Form I-9 errors, but how many, and learn how to prevent them in the future!