There is a substantial amount of paperwork that must be filled out when employing a foreign worker in the United States. The government not only requires that businesses keep employment records for foreign workers, but it also conducts inspections to confirm compliance with established regulations. One of the most significant compliance issues involves a legal document known as an I-9 form.
There are costly penalties for businesses that are not I-9 compliant. With the help of a seasoned immigration attorney, you could avoid these issues or address any problems before they impact your company. Your business could benefit from the guidance of a Tuscaloosa I-9 compliance lawyer.
While the I-9 form is an important document for employees who have relocated to the United States, it is vital to remember that all business owners are required to fill out and maintain this form for all employees, regardless of immigration status. Nevertheless, these forms are frequently used during the immigration process.
In addition to preparing an I-9 form for every employee, it is also necessary that a company collects copies of their identification and inspect these documents for legitimacy.
However, it is not enough to fill out the I-9 and make copies of identification cards. Employers must also carefully store information for a set period. The law requires that an employer keep documentation for three years after a person’s hiring date or one year after their termination, depending on which date is later. A business must ensure employee records are accessible for inspection by the federal government upon request. An experienced attorney in Tuscaloosa could ensure businesses follow the federal government’s I-9 guidelines.
Not all violations of I-9 compliance rules are treated the same. The government recognizes both technical and substantive violations, each of which is considerably different.
Technical violations are less serious than substantive violations. These errors are often procedural in nature and could include leaving blank lines on a form. Typically, the government provides business owners up to 10 days to remedy a technical issue. If a technical I-9 error is not resolved in that period, it could be treated as a substantive violation.
Substantive I-9 violations often involve errors that undermine the primary purpose of the form. For example, the failure of the employer or the employee to sign a form is a substantive violation. The same is true when the employer fails to check any box indicating the employee is authorized to work in the United States.
When the government determines that a substantive violation has taken place, it can issue something known as the Notice of Intent to Fine. This could lead to several consequences, including:
The price for a violation can cost thousands of dollars, depending on how many errors there are. Thankfully, a skilled Tuscaloosa lawyer could help employers avoid any fines or the need to attend I-9 compliance training.
It is vital that every business complies with I-9 requirements. The failure to do so could have costly consequences that could negatively impact a company’s ability to remain open.
A dedicated Tuscaloosa I-9 compliance lawyer could help you understand the documents necessary to be compliant and avoid any fines. Call now to discuss your options.