Cleveland Based I-9 Compliance Law Firm
As the population in America continues to change and grow, more people are now becoming employed before becoming citizens. As a business owner, it is imperative that your I-9 files are compliant showing that all of your employees are legally allowed to work in this country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and their sub-agency Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) actively enforce illegal employment through the use of I-9 audits. HIS conduct audits of corporations both large and small to ensure that the business is not employing anyone who does not have the appropriate work authorization.
What Is I-9 Compliance?
The Form I-9 is an employment eligibility verification form which all U.S. employers must complete within three business days of the start of anyone’s employment. The timing and the fact that all employees must have a completed Form I-9 are critical components which are often missed by employers. The Form I-9 may be stored electronically and supporting documents may also be electronically verified through E-Verify.
An employer who fails to comply with I-9 work authorization requirements may face substantial civil fines, criminal indictment with both imprisonment and fines as punishment as well as debarment from future federal contracts. Additionally, an employer who accepts fake or fraudulent documents may face criminal prosecution.
Proactive and Proficient I-9 Compliance Services
Hammond Law Group can help you proactively ensure your I-9 files are up to date with the current I-9 compliance standards. We can evaluate if the I-9’s you have on file have been properly completed, revise them per audit and in doing so show a good faith effort at compliance which may mitigate penalties if audited by ICE later. An experienced Cleveland immigration lawyer can also conduct employment eligibility verification for all other business immigration law needs you may have.
What Happens if I Receive a Notice of Inspection?
If you receive a Notice of Inspection (NOI), this means your company has have been asked to provide all I-9 forms for inspection ICE/HSI. The business has three days to respond to a notice of inspection and failure to comply may lead to civil or criminal prosecution. This is where you, as the human resources manager or the C Level personnel, contact counsel as soon as possible. Our number in Cleveland is 216-970-7102.
ICE Audits and Investigations
If you are audited by ICE, our experienced immigration and audit investigation attorneys can represent you in the process. Cooperation throughout the investigation is critical, but understanding what documents you do and don’t have to submit is also critical. As well, if the termination of employees due to the I-9 audit occurs, we can negotiate with ICE for a staging of the terminations so the business is not put at risk. Our immigration lawyers in Cleveland will also represent you in negotiations with ICE before the civil penalties and fines have been assessed. Finally, and hopefully not necessary, if corporate criminal representation for harboring illegal aliens our team of litigators can give you the best chance possible.
Contact I-9 Audit Investigation Attorney
At Hammond Law Group, LLC, we offer I-9 compliance representation for all business. This representation can include a self-audit, training for human resources personnel and defense of litigation filed subsequent to an audit. For more information, please contact us at 216-970-7102.