Fines resulting from I-9 audits have exploded in recent years, and immigration law experts say employers should put a high priority on making sure their policies and paperwork are in compliance.
“We have seen a huge increase in fines against employers, and we don’t think that’s going to go away,” says Loan Huynh, a shareholder with Minneapolis-based Fredrikson & Byron.
The Society of Human Resource Management website has several tips for employers, including being compliant with deadlines. For example, a new hire must complete Section 1 of the I-9 form on or before the first day of employment, while Section 2 of the I-9 must be completed by the employer within three days of the start date. Other important steps include having your policies in writing and a one person in charge of the process.
“The buck needs to stop with someone,” Loan says. If no one is tasked with ownership of the I-9 paperwork, it’s too easy for things to slip through the cracks. And the consequences of such mistakes can be very high.