Prince George’s County I-9 Compliance Lawyer

Employers in PG County are not only required to collect the necessary information, but also to keep the original I-9 forms and have them available for inspection, even for employees who no longer work for them. The U.S. government’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 provides the means of documenting that employers have verified the identity and employment eligibility of those they hire.

Failure to comply with requirements can subject employers to liability including the imposition of substantial fines. Those concerned with an I-9 audit or are seeking to proactively prevent I-9 compliance problems often choose to consult a Prince George’s County I-9 compliance lawyer. A well-versed immigration attorney familiar with audits, penalties, and other I-9 issues can provide advice and representation to minimize the difficulties and expenses of I-9 compliance.

The Start of the I-9 Inspection Process

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces compliance with the verification requirements documented on the I-9 form. These requirements are based on Section 274A (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) enacted in 1986.

Periodically, ICE will conduct inspections of employer records to determine whether the employer has violated provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The process begins when ICE issues a Notice of Inspection to the employer. The employer has three business days to produce the I-9 forms of employees. Often, supporting documentation will be requested as well, such as a copy of the payroll, articles of incorporation, and a list of current employees.

Compliance Review

After requesting information, the auditors will review the documents for compliance. They may find substantive or technical errors. If an employer has made errors considered to be procedural or technical in nature, ICE will usually give the employer ten business days to correct the errors. In most cases, if the errors are corrected within that time, the employer will not be charged with a violation.

However, those found to have substantive errors do not receive time to correct them, and they may be assessed fines immediately. Employers who fail to correct technical errors within the allotted time may also be required to pay fines. Contact a PG County’s I-9 compliance lawyer for more information.

Results of the Compliance Audit

After the inspection, ICE auditors will provide written results to the employer. Typically, the employer will receive one of the following notices:

  • Notice of Inspection Results – This letter informs employers that they have been found in compliance with requirements, so often this is referred to as a “compliance letter”
  • Notice of Suspect Documents – This form explains that ICE believes one of the employees may not be authorized and informs the employer that they may face civil or criminal penalties if they continue to employ the unauthorized worker. The employer is given the chance to provide further documentation of the employee’s eligibility
  • Notice of Discrepancies – This notice explains that ICE cannot determine an employee’s work eligibility, so the employer is instructed to share the notice with the employee and give the employee the chance to provide further documentation to ICE
  • Notice of Technical or Procedural Failures – This form describes technical violations ICE has identified
  • Warning Notice – This notice explains that while ICE found substantive violations, they expect future compliance and find that circumstances do not require the imposition of a fine
  • Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) – This form may be issued when ICE finds substantive, knowingly hire, and continuing to employ violations or uncorrected technical violations

When an employer receives a Notice of Intent to Fine, the employer has the option to negotiate a settlement or request an administrative hearing within 30 days. However, if the employer fails to respond to the NIF, then ICE will issue a final order.

Contact a PG County’s I-9 Compliance Attorney Today

Employers, particularly those with many employees, frequently find it difficult to comply with I-9 requirements. Because even procedural compliance issues can subject them to substantial penalties, employers often prefer to meet regularly with a Prince George’s County I-9 compliance lawyer.

An experienced immigration attorney can assist during an audit or hearing or provide advice with an aim toward ongoing compliance. To learn how an I-9 attorney can assist in your situation, call now.

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