It is unlawful for employers in Huntsville and throughout the country to employ foreign workers who lack authorization for employment in the U.S. Employers that allow foreign workers to slip through the cracks could face steep fines and other penalties. One of the documents used by the federal government to ensure businesses are employing authorized workers is through a document known as an I-9 form.
I-9 compliance is crucial for employers, given the potential penalties that are at stake. With the guidance of a dedicated immigration attorney, business owners and operators could ensure they are compliant and avoid any adverse consequences. The guidance provided by a Huntsville I-9 compliance lawyer could help a business owner understand how to ensure they meet federal standards.
Authorization for Foreign Workers
The I-9 form—formally known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form—provides a roadmap for employers to verify whether their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. The form documents the efforts the employers make to not only verify this authorization but also to keep careful records of the process.
The process of complying with I-9 regulations begins immediately upon hiring a new employee. A business must fill out these forms within three business days following the employee’s start date. Completing an I-9 form is not a one-time effort. Employers must not only keep these forms up to date, they must also maintain copies of these records at all times. Federal law requires employers to maintain these records for three years after an employee no longer works for them, as well.
The steps to verify an employee’s right to work in the United States goes beyond the I-9 form itself. In addition to this paperwork, employers must also obtain copies of important documentation, including social security cards or other forms of identification. These records must be maintained along with the I-9 form itself. While the process of I-9 compliance might seem complex, a Huntsville attorney could assist an employer is setting up a system to simplify employee verification.
Consequences of I-9 Violations
When the federal government determines a business owner or operator has failed to comply with I-9 requirements, that employer could face severe penalties under the law. This is the case whether the errors were due to poor record-keeping or if the employer unlawfully hired foreign nationals that were unauthorized to work in the U.S. Some of the potential consequences of non-compliance with I-9 requirements include:
- Civil fines
- Cease and desist letters
The fines that can come with I-9 non-compliance can be more than $20,000 for a single incident. The penalties that can come with these violations are more likely to be steep if it is determined the employer willfully violated I-9 requirements.
Employers facing accusations of I-9 non-compliance have the right to legal counsel. A Huntsville lawyer familiar with I-9 compliance could help an employer avoid violations that could result in these steep consequences. By careful training and record-keeping, I-9 compliance could be possible for any business.
Talk to a Huntsville I-9 Compliance Attorney Today
Due to the steep consequences of non-compliance with I-9 requirements, it is vital that employers take steps to ensure compliance right away. The longer they fail to do so, the more potential violations could accrue.
Consulting with a Huntsville I-9 compliance lawyer could protect you from the consequences that come with non-compliance. To learn more, call immediately to schedule a confidential consultation.