In some ways, the United States government puts the burden on Bolingbrook employers to help enforce immigration laws. All employers are required to verify that their employees have the necessary credentials to work legally in the U.S.
If employers fail to keep sufficient records, they may be liable for civil or even criminal penalties.
Many businesses find it advantageous to work with a Bolingbrook I-9 compliance lawyer. An immigration attorney who understands I-9 requirements could help keep records in compliance or defend a company that has been accused of violations. In some cases, with prompt action, it is possible to address I-9 deficiencies with minimal or no negative consequences.
What Are the Requirements of the I-9 Form?
The I-9 form has two sections. The employee completes the first part of the form, and then provides documents proving identity and employment eligibility for the employer’s review. At that point, the employer examines these documents to determine whether they appear to be “reasonably genuine.” The employer then fills out the second section of the form to prove that employment eligibility and identity have been appropriated verified.
Employers may have their employees complete the I-9 form as soon as they are hired, even if they do not begin work for some time. The employee portion form must be completed by the first day of employment, and documentation verification must be finished by the third business day after starting work.
What Happens if an Employer Makes a Mistake on an I-9 Form?
Employers must strictly adhere to the requirements in the form’s detailed instructions. Even minor mistakes or omissions, such as failing to enter the address of the business or the issuing authority for documentation, are considered I-9 violations that may subject the employer to penalties. A Bolingbrook I-9 compliance attorney could conduct regular reviews of forms to ensure that they comply with government requirements and will not incur penalties.
Inspections by ICE
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often referred to in Bolingbrook as ICE, is the agency responsible for enforcing immigration eligibility requirements and administrative compliance. Employers must retain I-9 forms for current and some past employees and must be able to produce those forms for inspection upon request.
When ICE issues a Notice of Inspection, the employer has three days to produce the forms. The agency may also request supporting documents such as lists of current employees, a copy of the payroll, and business licenses.
Substantial Violations by an Employer
If the ICE agents find violations they consider to be technical or procedural, the employer has ten business days to make corrections. An I-9 compliance lawyer in Bolingbrook could help make corrections and thereby avoid penalties.
Should the investigators find “substantive” violations, or if the employer fails to properly correct technical violations, then ICE may issue a Notice of Intent to Fine. The company may request a hearing within 30 days or negotiate a settlement with ICE.
Work with a Knowledgeable Bolingbrook I-9 Compliance Attorney
Complying with the government’s immigration documentation requirements is a daunting task. If the government reviews the paperwork and finds that an employee’s documentation is suspect, the employer is required to take specific action in reference to that employee. Failure to comply could even lead to criminal penalties.
However, an experienced Bolingbrook I-9 compliance lawyer could help to avoid violations and work to correct problems before they lead to serious penalties. For a consultation to learn more about the benefits an I-9 attorney could provide in your situation, call today.