Since the 1980s filling out an I-9 form has been standard procedure. The I-9 form or employment verification form simply confirms the employee has authorization to work in the United States. However, required documentation, fines for incorrectly filling out the form and requirements to verify identification, keep forms on file and otherwise jump through hoops to complete the form make it far from simple to stay compliant.
The Trump administration is ramping up efforts on immigration policy including I-9 enforcement. Law already requires employers to review documentation provided by the employee that prove their identity and prove their legal right to work in the US. Employers are responsible for reviewing those documents and insuring their authenticity and transferring the information to form I-9. They must complete a new form for every new employee and keep these documents on file and must follow the federally provided instructions to the letter.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE audits companies to ensure they have compliant and correctly filled out I-9 forms on file. Should an employer fail to complete these forms accurately, or fail to properly record information on the form they may be subject substantial fines and penalties. There are many regulations that govern the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Form I-9 regulations are mostly governed by Code of Federal Regulations § Sec. 274a.10 and U.S. Code § 1324a. The USCIS website details the many penalties your company can incur should they fail to comply. Maximum fines just for filling forms out incorrectly are $2,156 per document. Mistakes on multiple documents add up quickly and many cases result in devastating fines.
Other issues that come in to play when ICE audits companies is proper document retention. Employers are liable if they do not retain proper form i-9 documentation on hand. This becomes especially problematic if your company loses these documents in a natural disaster or by employee error. As ICE gets more funding from the federal government to enforce the laws above we can expect more audits on more companies with higher fines.
Luckily HireSafe has teamed up with I9 Advantage to bring you compliant solutions for employment verification. With just a single sign on you can access the electronic form I-9 for new hires and ensure complete compliance. Not only that but the cloud based storage from I9 Advantage keeps your documents safe no matter what happens. I9 Advantage uses the E-Verify tool provided by the US Government to file I-9 forms with ease and ensure compliance. Read more about the Online Form I-9 offered by HireSafe here or if you’re already interested in our electronic form I-9 services fill out our additional services consultation form.