06 Jun 2017

Employers: Be Prepared for Increased Audits from Department of Labor

Department of Labor has today announced their intention to conduct sweeping audits against employers who hire foreign national employees on H-1B and other visa types, see here: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/opa/opa20170606

Please make sure that all of you have:

1. Public Access Folders for ALL current H-1B employees

2. Properly completed and maintained form I-9 for each employee irrespective of whether or not they are US Citizens/“Green card” holders.

3. Are in compliance with your State’s Wage and Labor laws

I-9 penalties were raised significantly in 2016; consequently, the current cost of having errors on Form I-9 or not being complaint are as follows:

Form I-9 Paperwork Violations:
Previous fine per Form I-9 violation: $110 to $1,100
Fine effective August 1, 2016 per Form I-9 Violation: $216 to $2,126
Unlawful Employment of Unauthorized Workers:
First Offense
Previous fine, per worker: $375 to $3,200
Fine effective August 1,2016 per worker: $539 to $4,313
Second Offense
Previous fine per worker: $3,200 to $6,500
Fine effective August 1, 2016, per worker:$4,313 to $10,781
Subsequent Offenses
Previous fine, per worker: $4,300 to $16,000
Fine effective August 1, 2016, per worker: $6,469 to $21,563
Unfair Immigration-Related Practices
First Order
Previous fine, per worker: $375 to $3,200
Fine effective August 1, 2016, per worker: $445 to $3,563 (however repeat offenders could face a new maximum penalty of $21,563 per worker.)
These fines also increase per subsequent order and frequent offenders may face a maximum fine of $17,816 per worker.

Unfair Immigration-Related Practices – Document Abuse
Previous fine, per individual:$100 to $1,100
Fine effective August 1, 2016, per individual: $110 to $1,100

I strongly recommend that in this heightened audit environment that all employers conduct internal I-9 audits. I realize that this may be more money than some of you are able to/ want to spend, but the costs of not being in compliance are excessive. I strongly urge you to please consider this as a safety mechanism to ensure you are compliant. Please call us if you have questions regarding timelines and costs of an internal audit. We would be happy to work with you.

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