Today, many companies employ more diverse workforces. Do you have the up-to-date Form I-9 to prove that every employee in your firm is identified and verified to work in the U.S.?

If not, your company could face serious fines. HR professionals and business owners may know that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently stepped up employer audits, and two printing firms have already been targeted this year. Luckily, the firms received advance notice from ICE about the audit and contacted Printing Industries’ Human Relations Department for help.   

Every day many companies are receiving an audit notification, or Notice of Inspection (NOI), from the ICE. When you receive this notice, you have only three days to produce the Forms I-9.

If you are unsure if your firm is prepared for ICE, read on!

Avoiding Problems with ICE

Unlike the kind brought on by freezing temperature, this type of ICE can be avoided easily by following a few easy steps to prepare. If you are an HR professional or business owner, taking the right precautions can make a big difference in whether you pass or fail a Form I-9 audit.

  • Review the Fact Sheet: Form I-9 Inspection Overview to learn more about the audit process.
  • If audited, you may be asked to provide supporting documentation, which may include a copy of the payroll, list of current employees, Articles of Incorporation, and business licenses.
  • Have new hires? This video will help you ease the process and explain to your new employee why the Form I-9 is necessary and how to complete it.
  • This Employee Information Sheet is also a useful tool to highlight the I-9 process for new hires (there’s a Spanish version available as well).
  • You, as the employer, are responsible for completing sections two and three of the Form I-9. Find a video explaining the details of Section Two here and Section Three here.

Penalties You could Face

These HR resources can help streamline the process for ensuring that you are in compliance with Form I-9. However, in the case that you do not meet all of the inspection criteria, these are the penalties you should be aware of:

  • If corrections for a technical or procedural violation are not rectified within 10 business days, you could receive a fine for all uncorrected violations.
  • When an unauthorized worker is knowingly hired or continually employed, ICE will require their employer to cease all unlawful activity, institute a fine, and may criminally prosecute the company. The firm may also be debarred and ineligible for some government benefits.
  • The fees for knowingly hiring or employing unauthorized workers ranges anywhere from $375 up to $16,000.
  • If your company fails to produce a Form I-9 or violates other requirements, your company can be charged from $110 to $1,100 per violation.

More Resources

Many of the HR-related questions we receive from our members deal with training, orientation, performance appraisals, and more employee matters. Check out the Employment page for forms, guidelines, posters, and other tools for employee relations.

Your company works hard to create an enriching environment for your employees—diversity in the workplace and a strong company culture that differentiates your firm and inspires success. Printing Industries of America wants to recognize you. Enter the 2014 Best Workplace in the Americas Program. We spotlight great HR practices so winners receive improved hiring and retaining benefits.

Enter at by September 30, 2014.

Do you have any more tips for firms facing a Form I-9 audit? Share them here!