Is your organization in compliance with Form I-9 requirements? Would your Form I-9 records stand up to an audit by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) or Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)?
According to Thomas Brechtel, Executive Vice President of A-Check partner Form I-9 Compliance, 80-90 percent of Form I-9s processed by employers contain at least one significant error that places the employer at risk of fines, debarment and even arrest.
“What employers need to understand is these ‘paperwork’ violations can result not just in monetary penalties, but also in actual criminal prosecution,” Brechtel said. “Compliance with this process is not optional, it’s critical.”
On April 30, 2009, ICE and HSI rolled out a revised worksite enforcement strategy. The strategy prioritizes the use of criminal prosecutions against the Employer. In 2012, the latest year for which figures are available, ICE has published the following “Accomplishments”:
– HSI made 520 criminal arrests tied to worksite enforcement investigations. 240 were owners, managers, supervisors or human resources employees. Remaining workers who were criminally arrested face charges such as aggravated identity theft and Social Security fraud.
– HSI served 3,004 Notices of Inspection and 495 Final Orders, totaling $12,475,575.00 in administrative fines.
– ICE debarred 376 business and individuals for administrative and criminal violations.
While ICE and HSI prioritize investigations involving national security, public safety or those associated with critical infrastructure and key resources, all employers should take note.
Is your organization at risk? Clues to look for:
Do you know…
– Where your I-9 Forms are Stored?
– If your I-9 Forms are Compliant?
– If you annually conduct an External Audit of your I-9 Forms?
– If you are Missing any I-9 Forms?
– If you are properly “Updating” your I-9 Forms based upon Expired work eligibility documents or Receipts?
– If you are properly “Purging” your I-9 Forms based upon I-9 retention requirements?
– If you could provide your I-9 records within the timeframes required (72 hours) in the event of an ICE/HSI Notice of Inspection (NOI)?
If you answered no to any of the above, A-Check can help. A-Check’s RAPID I-9 service, powered by Form I-9 Compliance LLC, is a fully compliant and effective Form I-9 and E-Verify management platform built into our employment screening platform, A-Check Direct.
We recognize most employers not only need an effective method of dealing with their ongoing form I-9 process, they also require specialized knowledge to comply with government regulations, remediate existing deficiencies and avoid ICE/HSI penalties.
For this reason, A-Check has begun to hold informative webinars as part of our regularly scheduled HR Impact Webinar Series. The first webinar covering Form I-9 compliance was held July 24th, with subject matter expert Thomas Brechtel covering the basics about form I-9 regulations.
In addition to streamlining the current Form I-9 process and gaining expertise in related regulations, employers should also undertake an audit and if necessary, a remediation process of their existing Form I-9 records.
A-Check partner Form I-9 Compliance LLC specializes in ensuring employers’ existing records meet government requirements and know exactly how to handle every type of non-compliance situation before it becomes a problem that gets ICE/HSI attention.
Stay tuned for additional Form I-9 Compliance webinars coming soon from A-Check.