I-9 Audits and Compliance
U.S. employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens as well as non-citizens.
On the Form I-9, both the employee and the employer must make certain assertions. The employee states that he or she is legally authorized to work in the United States. The employer must then examine the original employment eligibility and identity document(s) which the employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the individual and record the document information on the Form I-9.
There are civil and criminal penalties to the employer for knowingly hiring or continuing to employ an unauthorized worker. There are also fines for technical violations, such as, incorrectly completing the I-9 form. U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW GROUP, LLP can assist companies with verifying that their Forms I-9 are in compliance. Our trained legal team can identify omissions, inconsistencies and errors made that may subject the business to fines or penalties prior to a government audit. It is prudent and often cost effective to review I-9s for compliance prior to these records being subject to inspection, we recognize that this may not always be possible. Should your company receive an inspection notice from the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Special Counsel or the Department of Labor, please call our office immediately if you are in need of assistance.
The employer must make Forms I-9 available upon request at the location where the appropriate government agency requests to see them. At the time of an inspection, you must:
- Retrieve and reproduce only the Forms I-9 and supporting documentation specifically requested by the inspecting officer. Supporting documentation includes associated audit trails that show the actions performed during a given period of time;
- Provide the inspecting officer with appropriate hardware and software, personnel, and documentation necessary to locate, retrieve, read, and reproduce any electronically stored Forms I-9, any supporting documents, and their associated audit trails, reports, and other data used to maintain the authenticity, integrity, and reliability of the records;
- Provide the inspecting officer, if requested, any reasonably available or obtainable electronic summary file(s), such as spreadsheets, containing all of the information fields on all of the electronically stored Forms I-9.