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Maintaining I-9 Compliance – An Essential Lesson for Employers

Sep 5 | 2014  by

The federal I-9 form is one of the most recognizable forms for employers and employees. Everyone who has been employed has filled out this form. However, it is very commonly filled out incorrectly. Many employers aren’t aware of this form’s importance and don’t ensure it’s properly completed.

Unfortunately, if employers knew of the stiff penalties for non-compliance, they would likely change their procedures. Fines can range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars per violation. 

The purpose of the I-9 form is to document that the employer verified the identity and employment authorization of new hires. It ensures that, for instance, employers are verifying that their new hires are in the United States legally and eligible for employment.

The I-9 Form has two main sections. The new employee completes Section 1. The employer must complete Section 2 by viewing identifying documents from the employee. It is a good business practice to not only view and properly fill out this information on the I-9 form, but also to photocopy the documents as well. Typically, these requirements involve checking the new employee’s driver’s license and social security card, although other documents may be acceptable too.

The Department of Homeland Security audits employers frequently to ensure they are complying with requirements. The result of non-compliance can be hefty fines and fees or, in the event of purposeful violations, even criminal charges.

If you have questions about the employer requirements regarding I-9 or other required forms or would like to develop a self-audit program, contact the team of legal experts at Fausone & Grysko, PLC. Our attorneys can help you with this and any other employment or business law questions you may have. Contact us at (248) 380-0000 or online at FB-Firm.com.