Breaking Down the Significance of I-9 Forms
One of the biggest concerns for employers going into 2019 is ensuring compliance through valid I-9 documentation. Form I-9 proves your employees are legally allowed to work for your company. Since 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increased their total audits of companies’ I-9 compliance by over 60%. In this post, we focus on why I-9 forms are important, who needs them, and what potential penalties exist for those who don’t properly fill out the documentation.
I-9 forms are a shared responsibility
As the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services details, “Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.” This process is significant for both the employee and the employer, since both must take an active role in proving an employee’s capability of working in the United States.
Who needs to complete an I-9?
Legally, everyone you hire in your company needs to complete and submit I-9 documentation. More importantly, your I-9 forms need to be completed correctly. It’s your responsibility as the employer to make sure your employee information is reported appropriately and precisely.
What happens when employers violate federal I-9 standards?
Penalties for I-9 violations vary by offense. For knowingly hiring and continuing to employ an individual who violates I-9 standards, your company could be fined $375-$16,000 per violation. For clerical mistakes, like forgetting to submit I-9 documentation or including technical errors, fines can range from $100-$1,100. These conditions necessitate the presence of a trained professional to help your company avoids costly fines. An experienced HR rep can step in and make sure your company remains compliant. Further, HR can perform internal audits to help you prepare for a potential ICE investigation, which are becoming increasingly more common.
We want to focus on your company’s I-9 compliance while you concentrate on moving your business forward. Let us know where you are in the I-9 documentation process, and we’ll get started.