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Do a Voluntary I-9 Compliance Audit - It's Good for Business

April 2013

By: Ryan M. Helgeson, Esq.

All employers in the United States must complete an employment verification procedure for each of their employees at the time of hire. This verification is accomplished through timely and accurate completion of Form I-9 by the employer.

Costs of Non-Compliance

Violations of the federal regulations governing Form I-9 can be costly for your business. If employers fail to complete the Form I-9 for required employees or make errors when completing Form I-9, they face potential fines of up to $1100 per Form I-9! Regardless of the size of your business, these fines can add up to many thousands of dollars, and this does not include the time and hassle of defending an audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

I-9 Compliance Audits - An Ounce of Prevention Prevents a Pound (or more) of Cure

Every employer should conduct a voluntary I-9 Compliance Audit for the benefit of their business. The advantages of properly completing a voluntary I-9 Compliance Audit are numerous, including:

  • Substantially limiting potential liability;
  • Enhancing your business's control over its hiring process to avoid unlawful conduct;
  • Demonstrating a good-faith effort at compliance in the event of an audit;
  • Providing peace of mind, knowing that an expert has reviewed your company's I-9s;
  • Providing an understanding of the new Form I-9 and how the transition can be managed; and,
  • Establishing your business's preparedness in the event of an audit.

If your business is considering an I-9 Compliance Audit (and it should be, no matter how few or how many employees), consultation with an immigration attorney is strongly recommended to understand all of the details and requirements of the process. If you have questions regarding I-9 compliance or any other employment immigration question, please contact Attorney Ryan M. Helgeson at (630) 377-1554 or at [email protected].