Is the company you own I-9 compliant? If you’re not sure, then it needs to be. An administrative judge imposed a whopping $600,000 fine on one employer recently for improperly handling I-9 forms. The fine (in U.S. v. Hartmann Studios, Inc.) is a timely reminder that every U.S.-based business must be in compliance.
If you hire employees and you need to learn more about I-9 compliance, contact an experienced Ohio immigration attorney right away. We have offices in Dublin and Columbus, but can help businesses anywhere in the state and even nationwide.
When Did Compliance Become Mandatory?
When the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was passed, completing Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) suddenly became a routine part of getting a job in the United States. Since that time, I-9s have tended to become just another piece of paper that goes along with hiring. But do not think of this form as just another piece of paper.
It is a document that’s required by law, and it’s the government’s main tool for determining if an immigrant is qualified to work in the United States. The government is more strictly enforcing I-9 compliance in recent years, so employers cannot treat these forms casually. Hartmann Studios is only one company that’s paid a six-figure penalty for I-9 non-compliance. Last year, Durable Packaging International, an Illinois company, was ordered to pay more than $300,000 for non-compliance.
Under federal law, employers who commit I-9 violations or knowingly hire employees ineligible to work in the U.S. can be cited and penalized. More than 3,000 businesses were suspected of I-9 violations and investigated in 2013.
In the global marketplace, every business owner needs an experienced immigration attorney’s help with employment compliance, visas, and a variety of immigration-related legal issues. Contact an experienced Ohio immigration attorney without delay to review your company’s practices to ensure I-9 compliance. Help is here for employers who hire international workers, but you must take the first step. We have offices in Dublin and Columbus, as well as the ability to help clients nationwide.
Contact us today!