Montgomery County I-9 Compliance Lawyer

I-9 compliance is a concern for employers and employees alike in MoCo. If prospective employees cannot satisfy requirements, they are unable to legally hold a job. And if employers fail to comply with requirements, they face heavy fines or even criminal penalties.

That makes it important for everyone in the workforce to understand I-9 requirements. Those who need assistance maintaining compliance or who are facing trouble with a potential violation are advised to consult a Montgomery County I-9 compliance lawyer. A well-versed immigration attorney can help with advice or provide thorough representation when handling problems with federal immigration authorities.

Understanding the I-9 Requirements

Federal laws require all U.S. employers to have completed I-9 Forms for their employees. The I-9 form verifies employees’ identities as well as their eligibility for employment in the U.S.

The I-9 form is made up of three parts. The first section is completed by the employee as soon as possible after hiring and no later than the first day of paid employment. Then the employee must provide documentation to the employer, and the employer must complete the second section of the form by the third business day after the employee starts work. The third section is used for re-verification if an employee’s work authorization expires.

Documentation Requirements

To verify identity and employment eligibility, employees must provide documents from the lists provided by the government. Some documents, such as a U.S. passport or a Form I-551 (Green Card), verify both identity and employment eligibility, so if an employee provides one of those documents, that fulfills the requirements.

Other documents may verify one but not the other, so employees need to provide two different types of documents. An example would be a driver’s license or school ID to verify identity and a Social Security card, birth certificate or a Department of Homeland Security employment authorization card to verify employment eligibility. To learn more about what these documents can do, schedule an appointment with a MoCo I-9 compliance lawyer.

Form I-9 Inspection Process

Employers are required to keep the forms on file for current workers and for workers who have left employment. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may require employers to show that they have these forms.

ICE first issues a Notice of Inspection giving the employer three days to produce the forms. In addition, ICE may also require the employer to provide additional documentation such as a list of employees.

The documents produced are then reviewed for technical and substantive errors.  Employers generally have ten business days to correct technical errors. If they fail to do so, then those technical errors will be treated as substantive errors.

Substantive violations (including unresolved technical errors) subject the employer to a fine. The amount of the fine varies according to circumstances such as:

  • Size of the business
  • Severity of the violations
  • Whether a good faith effort was made to comply
  • Whether the violation involved unauthorized workers
  • History of prior I-9 violations

In many situations, where ICE finds documents or situations it believes to be in violation of the law, the employer has the opportunity to present documentation to refute this contention.

Contact a MoCo I-9 Compliance Attorney Today

The fines for I-9 violations may only add up to a few hundred dollars or can be many thousands of dollars per violation. Repeat violations increase the severity of the situation, so it is wise to contest even a minor alleged violation to avoid creating a record that might give the appearance of a habitual offender.

A Montgomery County I-9 compliance lawyer can assist with many aspects of I-9 compliance, from establishing verification procedures to assisting during an investigation or, if necessary, defending against charges of alleged violations. To learn how an I-9 compliance lawyer can help in your situation, call now for a consultation.

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