Not all immigration matters involving Miami area employers have to do with work visas. Many employers must deal with employment eligibility verification forms. Known as I-9s, an employer must make sure that the forms are filled out correctly. The failure to do this could result in fines levied by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The number of the audits conducted to uncover these issues is on the rise. In 2007, throughout the nation ICE audited 250 businesses. Following a revision to the form in 2013, the number of nationwide audits quadrupled no more than 1,000. The trend is expected to continue in 2014.
When a business faces an audit it can expect that its records will be reviewed for false information or portions that are not complete. In addition, workers may be interviewed regarding employment practices pertaining to immigrant workers.
There are things that employers can do to try to avoid the fines levied by ICE when problems are found. In addition to making sure the paperwork is thoroughly completed, on time, semi-annual audits conducted by a third party can be beneficial. Working with an immigration lawyer in this capacity could keep the business from encountering issues in an audit.
Immigration attorneys can assist even when an audit uncovers problems. Under certain situations an employer may be provided time to make corrections.
Workers are vital to the success of most businesses. When employment practices do not comply with the set standards, the cost to the business can be great. Accordingly in most cases it is important that businesses take the proper steps to make sure that I-9 enforcement issues do not arise.
Source: Benefits Pro, “Fines for I-9 errors on the rise,” Scott Wooldridge, June 10, 2014