Immigration Compliance

Employment Eligibility Verification

Erroneous I-9 Forms are a potential source of great liability. The Houston Chronicle has published an article showing the increasingly high fines that employers are paying for mere clerical errors. Houston Chronicle, ICE delivers hefty fines for paperwork errors, Susan Carroll, February 20, 2012. Another indication of the possible seriousness of a failure to properly administer its I-9 procedures, Wal-Mart, though not admitting any wrong doing gifted the US government $11 million dollars because its subcontractor had hired undocumented workers to clean the Wal-Mart stores. The fines can be in the range of $110 to $1,100 per Paperwork violations and $375 to $3,200 per Knowing Hire violations.

We offer businesses the opportunity to conduct in-house I-9 audits to take advantage of agency memorandums on how to reduce a business’s existing exposure levels and better enable businesses to meticulously and correctly complete I-9 forms. Correcting the forms during a self-audit can help show good faith compliance, immediately prevent fines on technical errors, and, because of the Statute of Limitations, will prevent fines if a government audit is brought more than five years after any correction to a substantive error.

Likewise, if paperwork violations are not corrected, it is possible to be fined even years after the form was created because a paperwork violation is a continuing violation until corrected. Recent fines and appeal results include:

  • Hartmann Studios, Inc., $605,250, July 8, 2015
  • Employer Solutions Staffing Group II, LLC, $227,000, October 24, 2014
  • Two for seven, $264,605 reduced to $88,700, January 15, 2014
  • Platinum Builders of Central Florida, $70,966.50 reduced to $23,700, August 20, 2013
  • Red Coach Restaurant, $34,650.00 reduced to $16,300, August 7, 2013
  • New Sun Transit, $36,184.50 reduced to $16,600, August 7, 2013
  • Kobe Sapporo Japanese, Inc., $32,397.75. reduced to $15,400, October 18, 2013

The fines for unauthorized workers is even more staggering.

  • ABC Professional Tree Services Inc., $2 million, admits to hiring illegal aliens, 5/18/2012
  • Atrium Companies, Champion Window, $2 million, admits to hiring illegal aliens, 1/24/2012
  • Advanced Containment Systems Inc., $2 million, admits to hiring illegal aliens, 1/24/2012
  • IFCO Systems, $20.7 million, Five Senior Managers pled guilty to hiring illegal aliens, 9/15/2011