Auditing your I-9 forms annually is a great way to pro-actively ensure that you are following legal hiring practices under immigration law. The self-audit will keep you in compliance and prepare you should the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) decide to conduct an audit. It is common for simple mistakes to be made on the I-9 form such as not using a current version of the form or the employee writing the current year instead of their birth year in the date of birth field. Other common mistakes include asking an applicant to complete the I-9 prior to accepting an offer or missing completion deadlines such as the employee not completing Section 1 on their first day of work or the employer not completing Section 2 by the third workday. More serious issues include not re-verifying an alien authorized to work whose authorization is expired.  

The penalties for paperwork or technical violations can range from $272-$2,701 per violation. Worse, if you or your business are convicted of having engaged in a pattern or practice of knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens (or continuing to employ aliens knowing they are or have become unauthorized to work in the United States) after Nov. 6, 1986, you may face much heavier fines and/or six months imprisonment.

Having a thorough, independent audit provides transparency to affected workers, ensures that the employer is not engaging in what could be considered discriminatory practices, and reduces the organization’s liability. 

Leap Solutions is available to help you navigate the complexity of I-9 compliance by conducting independent audits and training your staff.

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