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Form I9: Are you out of your mind?

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 17, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2018

 

 

If you haven’t seen this year’s SHRM article on the increase in I9 Audits by ICE for 2018, you may have heard it at this year’s HR Florida Conference by Attorney Eduardo Suarez who mentioned that ICE has increased raids four times more than previous years. If that wasn’t enough to scare you, how about knowing the cost of violations on Form I9? Using the example noted in SHRM’s article by Bruce Buchanan, “If you have 100 employees with 10 substantive paperwork violations and 20 hiring or continuing-to-employ violations, you'd have 10 + 20 = 30 to calculate 30 percent violations, leading to a fine of $60,270 using the 2017 penalty matrices.”

 

See the source image
 

 

Ask yourself, if ICE were to walk into your company now, would you be ready? And would you have less than 10 percent of errors to hopefully get away with just a warning? If the answer is you’re not sure or probably not, you may want to prepare yourself.

 

Here’s how:

 

  • Check out the USCIS.gov website and register for their free webinars.  They are extremely informative and they help you understand the required fields of Form I9 as well as how to make corrections. I found that the Form I9 webinar, usually held on Tuesdays, are the best. 
  • Make sure you’ve downloaded the newest version of M-274. There are some recent changes so you want to ensure you have the most up to date information.
  • Always reference the USCIS website on how to correct Form I9. This allows you to get the guidance you need straight from the source.
  • Lastly, if a self-audit is the way to go, reference the USCIS I9 Central: Self Audits page. There you’ll find a pdf that you can reference called Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I9 Audits.  This guide will go through some of the topics mentioned previously in one document.
  • Also, if you’re not the only person in your company who has the responsibility of verifying identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment, I recommend having each person take the free webinars provided by USICS to fully understand their responsibilities.

See the source image

 

While Form I9 audits sounds daunting, ICE agents are looking for unsafe employers and the likelihood that your company may be a target may be slim. It never hurts to be cautious because in the end, it’s your duty as the employer to ensure you understand how Form I9 should be filled out, what you can and cannot ask for in terms of documentation, and that you’re not participating in discriminatory practicing when it comes to Form I9.

 


 

Ramona Kwong, PHR, SHRM-CP

Written by Ramona Kwong, SHRM-CP, PHR, HR Client Manager at Paylocity. 

 

The views stated and positions taken in this post are my own and do not reflect the positions or views of my employer and should not be attributed to them.

 

 

 

"All data and information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or HR advice (which should be obtained through formal retention of a lawyer or HR professional, respectively).  Nothing contained in this blog reflects the opinions of GOSHRM or any of its directors or members. GOSHRM makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, current-ness, suitability, or validity of any information on this blog and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis."

 

Tags:  Audit  I9  SHRM 

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