Understanding the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9)

by Anne Zachritz

Does your company comply with its obligation to verify the identity and work authorization of your employees? All employers have legal compliance obligations, there are many challenges to maintain 100% compliance, yet for many companies, it is a task generally completed by an entry-level staffer. Penalties for noncompliance can be costly and do not necessarily relate to having unauthorized workers on payroll. Penalties are determined on a case-by-case basis, but potential penalties include:

 

  • Monetary penalties (up to $16,000.00 per worker)
  • Asset forfeiture
  • Loss of business license
  • Negative publicity
  • Prison time for knowingly hiring an illegal worker
  • Attorneys fees

Penalties from recent investigations include:

  • $34,000,000.00 against Infosys for misuse of a B-1 visa
  • $4,500,000.00 against Pilgrim’s Pride for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized workers
  • $2,700,000.00 against Aguila Farms (plus probation for owners and company) for knowingly hiring, aiding and abetting
  • $2,000,000.00 against ABC Professional Services, Inc. for failure to comply with the Form I-9 process and failing to act on SSA no-match letters
  • $1,000,000.00 against Abercrombie & Fitch for failure to comply with the Form I-9 process
  • $625,000.00 against Infinite Visions for failing to comply with the Form I-9 process
  • $400,000.00 against a McDonald’s franchisee for knowingly accepting one false document
  • $275,000.00 against Macy’s for discrimination in employment eligibility verification process
  • $215,000.00 against Continental Airlines for discrimination in employment eligibility verification process

To discuss Form I-9 compliance or an I-9 audit, contact Anne Zachritz at (405) 272-9241 or aezachritz@andrewsdavis.com.


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