The Department of Justice’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer found a Drywall Services, in Washington engaged in more than 200 separate violations of the I-9 rules and ordered the company to pay $173,250 in penalties, even though the company had no history of prior related violations and none of the employees in question were found to be unauthorized workers. The monetary penalty assessed stemmed purely from the company’s failure to properly complete Forms I-9 or, in some instances, to even have a Form I-9 on file for certain employees. The government’s investigation began with a Notice of Inspection requesting provision of the company’s Forms I-9 and any attached documents presented at the time of I-9 completion.
In today’s article we deal with common I-9 errors made by employers while filing the form. Certain errors that stand out in the company mentioned above include checking citizenship as Alien but not entering Alien No, Multiple boxes being checked for citizenship among others. The USCIS page for I-9, I-9 Central has identified certain errors commonly made which if the employee/employer are aware of can be careful while filling the form and thus reduce faulty I-9s and repercussions thereof.
In Section 1, common mistakes made by the employee include:
- No employee printed name, maiden name (if applicable), address or date of birth.
- No “A” number for an employee who selects “A Lawful Permanent Resident.”
- No “A” number or admission number for an employee who selects “An alien authorized to work until.”
- No employee signature or attestation date.
- Not completing Section 1 by the time the employee began work for pay.
- Not checking a box to indicate whether the employee is attesting to be a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work until a specified date—or checking multiple boxes attesting to more than one of the above.
- No preparer and/or translator name, address or signature (if applicable).
- No date in the preparer and/or translator certification box (if applicable).
In Section 2, common mistakes made by the employer include:
- No acceptable List A document or acceptable List B and List C documents recorded on the form.
- No document title, issuing authority, number(s) or expiration date for the documentation presented.
- No business title, name or address.
- No date for when employment began.
- No employer signature, printed name or attestation date.
- Not completing Section 2 by the third business day after the date the employee started work for pay, or, if the employee is hired for three business days or less, at the time the employee started work for pay.
In Section 3, common mistakes made by the employer include:
- No document title, number or expiration date for the acceptable documentation presented.
- No date of rehire, if applicable.
- No new name, if applicable.
- No employer signature or date.
- Completing section 3 after the employee’s work authorization expired.
Employers should be careful while filing their I-9s that it is not only complete but been filled without any mistakes. I-9 audits are being increasingly being taken up by the Obama government and the recent months have seen a spate of fines being issued by Department of Justice for I-9 discrimination or incomplete I-9s. Employers are reminded that the government continues to utilize I-9 audits as an enforcement tool and they should seek immigration counsel immediately upon receipt of any notification requesting immigration documents.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Any issues regarding compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations should be addressed through your legal department or outside counsel.