Key Points for Staying in Compliance With I-9 Regulations

December 12, 2022

Employers were first required to use the I-9 Immigrant form in 1986 to verify their employees’ identity and employment eligibility. Originally, the I-9 regulations started easy to adhere to, but has become confusing and complicated over time.

The fines can become expensive if an employer fails to maintain compliance with the regulations for the I-9. These errors can also result in years of monitoring for companies. The fines are not just for large companies either. Even relatively small companies have faced fines for non-compliance.

Companies must also remember that fines can happen for unintentional violations. Unfortunately, the fees for mistakes can add up fast. For example, a basic paperwork violation can be as high as $2,507 for one employee. As a result, ensuring compliance with Form I-9 regulations is crucial.

Common Errors

There are several errors companies tend to make that get them into trouble for non-compliance, such as:

  • Not having new hires complete Form I-9;
  • Failing to have new employees complete Form I-9 within three days;
  • Not reviewing the form in person;
  • Requiring employees to provide a specific document (Employees may choose which documents to present, as long as they are unexpired, and they provide one from List A or both, one from List B and one from List C);
  • Not ensuring Form I-9s are correctly completed.

These mistakes can cause fines and monitoring; in some cases, the fines can be very high. For example, some companies that have required employees to provide specific documents when completing Form I-9 have lost millions of dollars in fines.

Compliance Tips

Complying with I-9 regulations often proves challenging. However, you can take steps to ensure you remain in compliance. Here are a few tips that will help you comply with the regulations:

  • Supply employees with a copy of Form I-9 before their first day of work and let them know to complete and present the required documentation within their first three days.
  • Provide training for human resources personnel on remaining compliant with I-9 regulations, including what documentation new hires may present with their Form I-9.
  • Have your forms audited by legal counsel to ensure that you are ready for an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) audit.

It is essential to follow the regulations for employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) to avoid penalties. ICE can audit any company, so all companies should prepare. The best way to ensure completed Form I-9s is to invest in an electronic I-9 management system. This system guides employers through the process step-by-step, ensuring the form is completed correctly and then safely storing the form along with any accompanying documentation for easy retrieval when needed.

Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.