Employers that fail to follow the guidelines set forth in the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) could be subject to thousands of dollars in fines. If an employer fails to comply on an ongoing basis, criminal sentences are a possibility. The federal government has the authority to seize company assets and levy substantial fines against repeat offenders. All employers must retain a copy of a completed I-9. Employers should verify the information on each form to ensure accuracy.
If you are unsure if your company’s practices comply with the requirements of IRCA, a Doraville I-9 compliance lawyer can help you get a better understanding of the statute and regulations. Make sure that your firm has the correct procedures in place, including initial review and third-party auditing by speaking with a knowledgeable attorney today.
What is IRCA?
Congress passed the IRCA in 1986 to prevent employers from hiring individuals not authorized to work in the United States. IRCA was primarily targeting those with unlawful status, but the act made an impact on employment discrimination as well.
The act instituted prohibitions on employment discrimination based on nationality or immigration status. Employers could no longer refuse to hire immigrants authorized to work because they were not United States Citizens. Similarly, an individual’s nation of origin could not be a consideration during an employer’s hiring process.
Congress amended the statute in 1990 to add safeguards against employment discrimination during employee eligibility verification.
What is the Process of Completing Form I-9?
Each employer must retain a copy of a completed I-9 for each individual that receives payment for completed work. Title 8 §274a.2 of the Code of Federal Regulations states that each employer has three business days from the beginning of employment to receive and review an employee I-9. Each employer must ensure that the information on the form appears accurate and genuine. Doraville I-9 compliance lawyers can provide a more comprehensive view of the IRCA and the procedures necessary to comply with the statute.
Possible Penalties of Failing to Verify Eligible Employees
Failure to comply with the IRCA can result in significant fines, especially for smaller businesses. Depending on when the violation occurs, employers can be subject to penalties of several hundred dollars for a first offense. Employers are subject to fines of over $20,000 for repeat violations according to the 2019 Federal Register. The federal government is also authorized to limit the employer from entering into a government contract.
Employers that have received fines or suspect a violation may have occurred should contact an I-9 attorney for guidance. If an I-9 is incomplete or inaccurate, employers must still pay their employees. Withholding pay because of an incomplete I-9 is a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Doraville I-9 Compliance Attorneys Can Help
It is important for employers to ensure they have the right policies in place to prevent unnecessary mistakes that may lead to an audit. Doraville I-9 compliance lawyers can help you determine whether the policies and procedures you have in place are sufficient. Depending on the size of your business, internal audits and policy changes may be necessary. Employers currently under audit should seek the assistance of an I-9 attorney for help with the process. Qualified attorneys could be able to assist you in the process and work toward a favorable solution.