Form I-9 Audits & Penalties Continue to Intensify

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Maintaining a compliant Form I-9 program continues to be imperative, as fiscal year 2012 saw a record number of audits and enforcement actions by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for non-compliant Form I-9 programs. ICE conducted more than 3,000 audits in fiscal 2012, compared to just 250 in fiscal 2007.

Audits of employer’s Form I-9 programs can include ICE officers reviewing payroll records, examination of Form I-9s, Social Security number matching, and other activities which can be highly disruptive to company operations.

As a result of increased auditing efforts by ICE, fines on employers with non-compliant Form I-9 programs grew from $1 million in fiscal 2009 to $13 million in 2012. In addition, ICE has seemingly been focusing more on criminal investigations of managers, as the number of managers arrested by ICE increased to more than 200 last year.

With the emphasis on auditing employer’s Form I-9 programs on the rise, employers should avoid making common Form I-9 mistakes, and should ensure that they are prepared to respond to a Form I-9 audit. Employers can also leverage leading electronic I-9 providers to assist with the management of their I-9 program to help maintain compliance.

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HireRight is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug and health screening, and electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help employers automate, manage and control background screening and related programs.

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