Our I-9 and Employment Eligibility Verification (EEV) Consulting Services
Employer failure to verify employment eligibility and properly complete and retain I-9 Forms subjects the company to stiff criminal and civil liabilities, including imprisonment, asset forfeiture, and treble damages in RICO lawsuits by competitors.Executives, officers, managers and key employees are liable personally for civil and criminal penalties for I-9 related errors and unlawful employment eligibility verification (EEV) practoces.
Form I-9 employment eligibility verification (EEV) compliance and E-verify require employers physically review each employee's For I-9 pursuant to specific Department of Homeland Security (DGS) regulations. In addition to verifying each employee's work authoriaztion employers must avoid unlawful I-9 hiring practices. Emlpoyers must properly retain Forms I-9 and reverify Form I-9s, as required by law.
The Form I-9 itself is merely the tip of the iceberg of employment eligibility verification responsibilites. The Form I-9 is a main cog in the work authorization laws, but merely completing Form I-9correctly is only the employer's first step in Form I-9 in employment eligibility verification.
Form I-9 must be correctly completed, and without any unlawful employer action related to documents presented by the employee or the manner in which the employer reviews the documents presented. The Forms I-9 must be reverified when apporpriate. The employer must properly retain its I-9s for several years. Its I-9s must be available for Immmigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) audit or invesstigation, and for Department of Labor (DOL() wage and hour audits or investigations.
The labyrinth of employment eligibility verification and I-9 laws have become a major employer compliance, staffing and regular training matter for all businesses from a WalMart size business to smaller local employers, especially employers with multiple locations.
The federaI I-9 and employment eligibility verification (EEV) laws are regularly changing. Many states now also have employment eligibility verification laws with employer liabilities.
I-9 emplyment eligibility verification is now actively enforced by many federal and state agencies. Employers are targeted for improper andunlawfil employment eligibility verification practices. DHS and Immigration and Custom Enbforcement (ICE) actively pursues civil fines and criminal arests and prosectuons for emloyer I-9 related unlawful practices.
"Just a small fine or a slap on the wrist is not a deterrent...we see more robust criminal cases...the prospect of 10 years in prison carries much sharper teeth than just a small fine....We want to send the message that your cost of business just went up because you risk your livelihood, your corporate reputation and your personal freedom."
"....individuals who have profited from hiring illegal aliens....we're going after their houses, their Mercedes and any money that they have, as well."
-Julie Myers, Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Previous Director of ICE)
"ICE is committed to establishing a meaningful I-9 inspection program
to promote compliance with the law...a nationwide effort.. targeting
people who employ....There are millions of employers in the United
-John Morton, Immigration, New Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for ICE
Employers face not only prison sentences, but also asset forfeiture for unlawful employment eligibilitu verification (EEV) and I-9 practices, including indcitments for harboring, conspiracy, money laundering and aiding and abetting.
Goulder Immigration helps employers with completing I-9s with "best practices", training company staff with properly completing I-9s, reviewing I-9 practices, internal I-9 audits and compliance practice reviews, and writing company policies and manuals for instituing uniform I-9 practices.
I help employers avoid I-9 liability, civil fines, criminal arrests, prosecution nd convictions, asset forfeiture, and potential trebles damages from competitors.
I also work with clients on developing due diligenace practices associated with mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate governance stemming from Sarbanes Oxley. Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) intersects with I-9 liability because I-9s are corporate records, which are specifcally covered by Sarbanes Oxley. Sarbanes Oxley applies equally to public companies, privately held companies and non-profits.
The Sarbanes Oxley law does not require a perpetrator to have criminal intent in persuading a third party to destroy, alter or conceal documents, the law applies directly to a wider range of conduct and carries a maximum imprisonment sentence of 20 years.
In today's EEV enforcement climate it is negligence not to have a written company policy for I-9 and employment eligibility verification compliance, regular staff training for both EEV and company procedures, and regular compliance audits.
I have 30 years experience as an attorney. In my experience with white collar criminal prosecution, regulatory agencies and business management I have developed unique insight and invaluable experience for counselling companies with I-9 employment eligibility verfication (EEV), internal
I-9 audits and developing written company policies and I-9 compliance procedures.
When I was an Assistant Attorney General of the State of Ohio I received training and experience developing, investigating and prosecuting busiensses for white collar crimes. I appreciate the resources available to the government in civil and criminal investigation and prosecution of businesses.
I also founded and managed a start up business that I grew into a medium size corporation with $21 million annual sales and over 180 full and part time employees. I appreciate the difficulties successfully managing a business while dealing with many federal and state regulations and regulatory agencies. I know the difficulties involved in training key personnel with I-9 compliance, and not only developing company I-9 EEV procedures, but also achieving proper follow through with these company procedures.
I know only too well the impact on the company bottom-line of managing government agency compliance investigations and fines. And I know and appreciate the impact on managing the business through the expense and lost management time and focus that are part of litigation, let alone criminal indictment snd prosecution.
Immigration law is one of the most complex areas of law; it beats the tax code for complexity hands down. I-9 and employment eligibility verification compliance enforcement has a much bigger enforcement bite than tax law violations.
Every company needs aknowledgable guide through the labyrinth of EEV forms, practices and laws.
II will assist you in avoiding, preparing for and handling an ICE audit or investigation. Being preparedfor I-9 compliance audits and investigations is your best defense.
I will assist employers in all of the "best practice" employment eligibility verification procedures and policies:
- Achieving overall compliance with employment eligibility verification, I-9s, and immigration laws.
- Providing a confidential "Risk Assessment Report" on your company's Form I-9 program, and make proactive recommendations for organizing and simplification of your I-9 procedures.
- Certifying and verifying the employment eligibility and identity of all employees according to Form I-9 requirements.
- Offering universal compliance training on Form I-9 and EEV requirements and procedures including but not limited to:
- Training and supervising on employment eligibility verification and correctly completing the Form I-9 at hiring;
- Training and supervising reverifying I-9 Forms;
- Training and supervising I-9 retention;
- Registering for and using the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) and E-Verify;
- Developing internal "boardroom to shop floor" checks and balances for continued employment eligibility verification (EEV) and I-9 compliance;
- Preparing detailed written guidelines for executives, managers and supervisors on employment eligibility and immigration laws;
- Providing internal audits and/or internal audit training to ensure company compliance with I-9, employment eligibility verification (EEV) and UIREP laws;
- Establishing procedures to correct violations discovered during a Form I-9 internal audit;
- Purging inactive I-9 Forms as allowed by law;
- Implementing a prophylactic hot line mechanism for anonymous reporting of alleged employment eligibility violations;
- Developing a company-wide plan for responding to any governmental inspections or audits of I-9 Forms;
- Training company personnel for employment eligibility vigilance when working with independent contractors and subcontractors;
- Defending ICE I-9 sanctions actions;
- Updating the employer on the all too regular changes in employment eligibility verification and immigration laws that may require modifications to existing internal Form I-9 procedures;
- Developing and implementing procedures for employee access control for specific workplaces or areas.