DETROIT, Aug. 16, 2016 -- On the heels of several years of increasingly strict employment eligibility verification enforcement, the government has recently increased fines for Form I-9 violations, making it more critical than ever that employers exercise compliant hiring practices. I-9 Advantage has released numerous enhancements to their electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) software to further address the needs of employers and to reduce risk and fines.
Penalties for Form I-9 infractions have increased, effective August 1, 2016. There are two types of violations that will be punished more harshly: (1) the employment of individuals who are not authorized to work in the U.S. and (2) Form I-9 paperwork errors. The adjustment, a Federal mandate in response to inflation, will result in an increase in fines anywhere between 35 percent and 96 percent, depending on the infraction.
These penalties have increased as follows:
- First offense, which ranged between $375 and $3,200 per unauthorized alien, will increase to $539 to $4,313.
- Subsequent offenses, previously ranging between $4,300 and $16,000, will increase to $6,469 to $21,563 per unauthorized alien.
- Paperwork violations leading to fines were previously set between $110 and $1,100, and have now increased to $216 to $2,156 per individual.
This means that even small or mid-size employers - who often see their penalties reduced as a result of their inability to pay and other factors such as good faith - will face much larger fines.
In addition to the increase in fines, Form I-9 audits are also on the rise. The Department of Justice has recently settled with several employers over discriminatory conduct in violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Governing U.S. immigration law, the INA's anti-discrimination clause addresses unfair immigration-related employment practices and prohibits the discriminatory treatment of new employees based on national origin or citizenship status.
To summarize, the provision says that all new hires must be treated equally, including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. Employers cannot request specific identification or work authorization documents, or deny employment to certain individuals based on citizenship or national origin.
"With the recent Form I-9 fines, audits, and violations on the rise, it is imperative for every U.S. employer to take a proactive approach, and begin taking steps to ensure full compliance with employment eligibility requirements, by implementing proper procedures and tools to mitigate legal risk," stated Joseph N. Impastato II, CEO of I-9 Advantage.
Web-based Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions offered by I-9 Advantage can easily help employers to achieve and maintain compliance with these requirements.
Compliance features include but are not limited to:
- Consistent processes which minimize discriminatory practices
- Accurate validation of information for each data field
- Seamless E-Verify integration as an option
- Precise error-checking algorithms to audit existing paper Forms I-9 after converting them to digital format, followed by step-by-step correction guidance
- Mobile-friendly remote hiring platform with access to a nationwide network of authorized representatives to properly complete Section 2
About I-9 Advantage:
I-9 Advantage is the leading provider of cloud-based automated Form I-9 and E-Verify software. The suite of solutions includes: I-9 Advantage - for creating and managing electronic Forms I-9; I-9 Remote - a mobile-enabled solution for remote hiring, including a variety of options for completing Section 2 that utilizes over 14,000 mobile authorized agents; and I-9 Medic - for electronically converting, pre-auditing, and correcting archived paper I-9s.
Contact I-9 Advantage at 800-724-8546 or schedule a demo to learn more.