Form I-9 Penalties Increased for 2019
New Fine Structure for Penalties Assessed after April 5
Penalties for Form I-9 violations have increased for 2019. The new fine structure will be effective for penalties assessed after April 5, 2019 where the associated violation occurred after November 2, 2015. I-9 penalties assessed after April 5, 2019 now range $230 to $2,292 for I–9 paperwork violations.
Substantive/Uncorrected Technical Violation Fines:
- Minimum fine per individual increased from $224 to $230
- Maximum fine per individual increased from $2,236 to $2,292
Knowing Hire/Continuing to Employ Fines:
- First offense increased from $559 – $4,473 to $573 – $4,586
- Second offense increased from $4,473 – $11,181 to $4,586 – $11,463
- Third offense + increased from $6,709 – $22,363 to $6,878 – $22,927
Paper I-9s Could Pose a Risk
Industry attorneys estimate that ICE will likely flag 60-80% of paper I-9s for problems.
ICE could assess fines for errors like:
- missing or incorrect fields
- dates beyond the allotted time for completion
- incomplete or missing Forms I-9.
Check out our post, 10 Common Errors Spotted During I-9 Audits.
Being Proactive Can Help
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) considers several factors when determining penalty amounts, including a good faith effort to comply. Being precise and avoiding repeated I-9 violations is an easy place to start. Employers should review I-9 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) manuals annually for accuracy and detail. An internal I-9 audit exercise will also help to find and correct mistakes. Doing so helps to show progress toward compliance, which may be considered “good faith” during an I-9 audit.
Get the HR Checklist for I-9 Enforcement
Even small mistakes on your Forms I-9 can add up to big fines. But the good news is you don’t have to wait for an audit and hope for the best. The suite of I-9 services from Equifax can help you take control of your I-9 processes and help reduce your risk.
We even created a checklist to help get your I-9s in order before ICE comes knocking on your door. The checklist covers:
- What to include in your I-9 Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Why training for Section 2 completers is essential
- How you should get started today with a self-audit
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