DC I-9 Compliance Lawyer

There are many laws and regulations governing employment in the United States. Employers must keep these rules in mind if they are to remain in compliance with the law. Consulting with a DC I-9 compliance lawyer, regarding hiring practices and procedures, may help an employer avoid the consequences of violating the law. If you are unsure if your business is in compliance with immigration laws concerning employment, contact an experienced immigration attorney to evaluate your practices and procedures.

Form I-9 and Work Authorization

Employers should be careful to ensure that prospective hires are eligible to work in the United States. Verifying a prospective hire’s identity and legal status are important aspects of the hiring process. Typically, employees must furnish an employer with documentation to prove their identity and authorization to work in the United States. Items such as a valid driver’s license, passport, or permanent resident card may be acceptable.

The I-9 Form is not solely applicable to individuals who hail from another country. Although the lack of legal immigration status may be a bar to work authorization, citizens can also be ineligible to work for other reasons. Immigration and labor laws are implicated in the area of I-9 compliance. A DC I-9 compliance lawyer can provide legal advice and assistance regarding hiring practices for citizen and non-citizen employees alike.

In addition to completing the I-9 Form, employers have an obligation to keep the forms on file for a certain period of time. They must either keep the forms for three years after employment begins or for one year after employment ends.

Potential Consequences of I-9 Violations

Government officials have the authority to review or audit an employer’s records. If an employer makes errors in I-9 documentation or employs individuals whom the employer knows are not authorized to work in the United States, the employer may face penalties under the law.

According to federal regulations, an employer who fails to comply with I-9 rules and procedures may face the following:

  • Civil fines
  • Prison
  • Cease and desist order
  • Injunction or restraining order

Civil fines may range from $275 to approximately $22,000, depending on the number of offenses, if an business knowingly violates I-9 laws. In an effort to comply with the law, an employer may wish to conduct trainings on verification procedures and policies.

An employer might also contact an attorney in Washington DC familiar with I-9 compliance for assistance in putting the appropriate procedures in place. Even an employer who has already faced an audit can still have options.

How an Attorney Can Help

Taking the proper precautions in I-9 compliance can save an employer from penalties, sanctions, and other adverse actions. The process of verifying a prospective hire’s identity and work eligibility can be an integral part of a company’s policies and procedures.

In order to prepare for an audit, an employer can speak with an immigration attorney about any changes which they should make in their hiring practices. An attorney can assist in negotiating penalties for I-9 violations, but compliance with I-9 requirements during the hiring process can help an employer avoid the threat of severe consequences such as fines and criminal penalties. Contact a DC I-9 compliance lawyer today for information regarding your situation.