The law requires that all immigrants to the United States must provide proof of their right to work in the U.S. before starting to work for an employer in any position. The foreign or immigrant worker is required to complete and sign a document known as Form I-9. The worker or employee must complete and sign this form before they start working for the hiring company. The responsibility to make sure this law is completed falls with the employer, and at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C., we have an experienced Hinsdale I-9 immigration lawyer ready to help you do just that.
Compliance with I-9 regulations is not optional, as every employer must strictly comply with this law to avoid serious problems and penalties.
The onus is on the employee to make sure they have truthfully and fully completed Form I-9 and to have this form given to the employer before accepting or starting to work for the employer. However, it is also the responsibility of the employer to make sure that the employee has completed and submitted their Form I-9 before starting work. The employer must also complete their section on Form I-9. This section requires the employer to verify the information provided by the prospective employee.
Many employers use E-Verify, an online-based system used to probe employment authorization, to verify the completed Form I-9s from their immigrant workers or employees. This E-Verify program is free and makes it easy and straightforward for employers to make sure their employees have correctly filled out Form I-9. The program, however, does not meet the requirements for retention. An employer using the system must take care of that on their own.
The law requires employers to retain their employees’ I-9 forms for a period of three years after the date of hire or one year following the date of termination, whichever occurs later. These forms can be retained electronically, in paper form, by microfilm or microfiche.
Once the validity date of Form I-9 expires, the employer is required to re-verify that the employee is still legally authorized to work in the United States. Re-verification is done by completing a section of Form I-9, if an employee is rehired within three years of the original I-9 completion or if the employee changes their name.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) routinely conducts Form I-9 audits after issuing a notice of inspection (NOI). If an employer is found not in compliance with I-9 regulations, then that employer is subject to civil penalties of just over $200 for each violation to thousands of dollars.
If you are an employer in Hinsdale who has hired or plans to hire immigrant workers, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced I-9 compliance immigration lawyer such as we have at Minsky, McCormick & Hallagan, P.C. Contact us today and schedule an appointment.