Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, all employers regardless of company size or the number of employees are subject to criminal and civil sanctions for hiring unauthorized workers.
Employers play an important role in enforcing immigration laws and must submit an I-9 form to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new employees. The employer must ensure that an I-9 form is filled out for all U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and employees with immigrant status.
When an I-9 is not required
A Form I-9 is not required for the following workers:
- Independent contractors
- Workers hired on contract
- Employees hired and continuously employed by the employer prior to 1986
- Occasional, erratic, or infrequent employment for domestic work in a private home
I-9 compliance assistance
When the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established in 2002, the responsibility for overseeing I-9 compliance passed to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) the investigative arm of the DHS, .
A company that fails to comply with I-9 forms may face audits, sanctions, and bad publicity if investigated. Company penalties are based on compliance violations and not just on hiring unauthorized workers.
The I-9 process begins the day an employee starts work. When an employee’s labor authorization has an expiration date, the I-9 form must be updated after expiration. Such update requirements create a need for regular audits of I-9 forms. After an employee’s termination, the I-9 form must be kept on file for one year, and otherwise retained for three years.
The Frager Law Firm assists employers with I-9 management, which includes a variety of services:
- Internal I-9 form audits
- Planning and development of verification and record-keeping practices
- Procedures in place to differentiate employees from independent contractors
- Counsel and legal advice on how to deal with Social Security no-match letters
- Guidelines on how to avoid verification and record-keeping violations
- Legal guidance on anti-discrimination regulations governing the hiring and retention of employees
- Staff and executive training in I-9 regulations and compliance requirements
- Legal representation before ICE and Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) administrative proceedings
Arrange a consultation today with the Frager Law Firm.
Attorneys at the Frager Law Firm clear up confusions and clarify immigration regulations and administrative rules, provide valuable I-9 compliance guidelines, and help you protect your rights.