I-9 Audits - Be Prepared
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit sent over 650 audit notices to employers for the purpose of auditing I-9 forms. The I-9 form is used by employers to verify the eligibility of employment for employees and is required by law. The failure to properly verify the eligibility of employment can result in large fines, a criminal investigation and potential prosecution. Employers can be fined $1,000 per employee for whom the I-9 form was not properly completed. In an effort to help mitigate your risk, please take some time to consider the following:
- Have all employees completed, signed and dated section 1 of an I-9 form?
- Is section 2 filled out completely including document title, issuing authority, document number, expiration date (if any), and the date employment begins?
- Has an "acceptable document" from list A or one document each from list B and list C been verified and not expired at the time of verification (the "acceptable document" list can be found on the back of the I-9 form or page 5 of the downloaded form)?
- Are all I-9 forms completed, verified and certified with a signature from a company representative within 3 days of the employee's employment start date?
- If you photo copy the acceptable documents verified on the I-9 form, have you consistently done this for all new hires and stored the copies with the I-9 form?
- Are all I-9 forms separate from the personnel files and stored in a binder, with terminated and active employees separated?
- Are the I-9 forms maintained for three years after hire date or one year after employment ends, whichever is later?
To obtain the latest I-9 form, you can download the form at www.uscis.gov/forms or call the USCIS forms request line at 800-870-3676.