Following an investigation and audit of Form I-9 documents by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Germantown Police Department, a Dayton-area restaurant has been fined more than $20,000 for failing to comply with employment eligibility verification requirements.
ICE HSI conducted an I-9 inspection after receiving information from the Germantown Police Department which revealed the company had allegedly employed illegal aliens.
The audit revealed violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and severe deficiencies with the company’s employment records. In July 2011, ICE HSI issued a Notice of Intent to Fine. The restaurant reached a fine settlement with ICE HSI in December for the amount of $21,692.
“These settlements serve as a reminder to employers that HSI will continue to hold them accountable for hiring and maintaining a legal and compliant workforce,” said Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Ohio and Michigan. “We encourage companies to take the employment verification process seriously.”
As part of the settlement, the company has taken measures to revise its immigration compliance program, and has agreed to begin implementing new procedures to prevent future violations of federal immigration laws.
The increased emphasis on inspections of employers’ I-9 documents are part of the ICE HSI revised worksite enforcement strategy, launched in 2009, to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation’s lawful workforce, by focusing additional resources on the auditing of employer’s I-9s.
Employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This form requires employers to review and record the individual’s identity and employment eligibility document(s) and determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the individual. Additionally, an employer must ensure that the employee provides certain information regarding his or her eligibility to work on the Form I-9.
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.