Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), all employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for every employee hired after November 6, 1986. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) serves a Notice of Inspection (“NOI”) to employers to conduct random audits of an employer’s Form I-9s. ICE conducts random audits of businesses of all sizes and in all industries. For each Form I-9 that has an error, ICE will access a fine of up to $2,156 and, fines can be higher if ICE believes the employer knowingly hired an employee who was not authorized to work in the United States. Most employers audited by ICE have a substantial number of errors which can quickly escalate into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
The INA also contains provisions which mandate that employers not commit discrimination in the Form I-9 process and enumerates specific types of discrimination that are prohibited. This portion of the I-9 law is frequently overlooked or unknown to employers. The Office of Special Counsel (“OSC”) is a division of the U.S. Department of Justice that is charged with investigating allegations of discrimination in the Form I-9 process. In the past several years, the number of OSC investigations has risen dramatically. An OSC Investigation can result in civil penalties, back pay with interest to employees not hired because of discriminatory I-9 practices, and required training and monitoring by the OSC.
Employers generally have no advance warning that they will be the subject of an NOI or an OSC Investigation. Under the law, documents responsive to an NOI must be provided to ICE by the employer within 72 hours. OSC Investigations also move very quickly and tend to request extensive documentation and corporate information including interviews of management and employees.
This live Webinar by Patricia A. Bollman will discuss the mechanics of an I-9 audit by ICE and an OSC Investigation. It will also discuss what practices employers should have in place in order to be in the best position to defend an NOI or OSC Investigation. Finally, this webinar will discuss tips for defending your company in the event it finds itself the subject of an I-9 investigation by either one or both of these agencies.
Why Should You Attend?
A NOI is the start of a federal investigation of a business’s Form I-9s by a law enforcement agency, ICE. A letter from the OSC about an investigation into your business’s I-9 practices triggers the start of a federal investigation by a division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Either of these is a very serious matter for any company. In addition to substantial fines, these investigations can result in bad publicity for a business and loss of future business opportunities.
This webinar will provide the tools a business needs to implement policies and procedures that will help reduce or eliminate the likelihood of fines in the event of an I-9 audit or investigation. It will also walk you through the mechanics of the process of an I-9 audit by ICE or an investigation by the OSC so that you are familiar with the steps involved and what to expect. Finally, the webinar will discuss best practices for defending your company in these types of investigations and the recent case law related to I-9 audits, and discrimination investigations, and the trends these cases suggest.
Who Should Attend
Patricia A. Bollman
Patricia A. Bollman is a 1986 graduate of Tulane University School of Law. For thirty years Ms. Bollman has practiced primarily in the area of immigration and nationality law. A significant portion of Ms. Bollman’s immigration law practice is in the area of employment based immigration matters. Ms. Bollman has develo... More info