FINES FOR I-9 VIOLATIONS TO INCREASE AUGUST 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") published a Final Rule on June 30, 2016 which will increase penalties for Form I-9 violations. The increased fines affect I-9 paperwork violations, unlawfully employing unauthorized workers and unfair employment practices in the Form I-9 process. The new penalties come after the Bipartisan Budge Act of 2015 was enacted in late November, 2015 which included a section on civil penalties that provided a different formula for inflation adjustment. The minimum fine for I-9 paperwork violations will be $216 per Form I-9 and the maximum fine will be $2,156 per Form I-9, for the first offense. Fines for second and third offenses will also increase. The minimum fine for employing an unauthorized worker will be $539 and the maximum will be $4,313, per worker, for the first offense. Likewise, fines for second and third offenses are being increased. Unfair immigration-related employment practices will carry a top penalty of $3,563 per person discriminated against. The regulation takes effect on August 1, 2016, and the increases will apply to violations that took place after November 2, 2015. Now more than ever, employers need to look at their Form I-9 compliance and make certain that their HR employees are properly trained in how to properly complete a Form I-9, that they have conducted an audit of their Form I-9s and that they have appropriate written I-9 policies and procedures in place. The increased fines could easily add to tens or hundreds of thousand of dollars of fines for employer's who fine themselves having their Form I-9s audited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.