The standard I-9 form, which defines a prospective employee’s citizenship status and is a required part of any employee hiring process, will be undergoing a change on Jan 22, 2017. The new version of the form (marked 11/14/2016) will completely replace the old form (marked 03/08/13), and the old form will no longer be accepted. In fact, according to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, the penalties for failing to correctly submit the new form have been increased as of August 1, 2016. At present, the fines for unlawfully employing immigrant workers have risen from between $375-$3,200 to between $539-$4,313, and the maximum fine for repeat offenders is now as high as $21,563. But what is of more concern to most small business employers is the fine for mistakes or omissions in the I-9 submission process, which have gone up by a staggering 96%, from between $110-$1,100 to between $216-$2,165. Civil penalties for discrimination against immigrant workers are also on the rise, as are penalties related to violations of the H-1B, H-2B, and H-2A temporary visa worker programs.
According to the immigration attorney Mitch Wexler, “It is more important now than ever for companies big and small to make sure they have effective policies and procedures in place for properly ‘I-9ing’ employees during the onboarding process…this includes a regular review of existing I-9s and training staff that touch this critical function.”
If you aren’t 100% sure that your I-9 form is compliant with the new regulations, let us save you the worry and the possible fees for erros! Draker Cody is fully qualified to audit I-9 forms according to the new regulations outlined by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Our job is to make your job easier!