Executive Summary: On July 8, 2015, an administrative law judge (ALJ) ordered Hartmann Studios to pay a fine of over $600,000 for more than 800 I-9 paperwork violations, the largest fine awarded by an ALJ for paperwork violations to date. In United States v. Hartmann Studios, Inc. (OCAHO Case No. 14A00008), the ALJ found the employer liable for 808 of the 818 Form I-9 paperwork violations alleged by the government. Although the judge refused to entertain Hartmann’s financial hardship defense due to its failure to provide audited financial statements or otherwise respond to the government’s discovery on its ability to pay the government’s proposed civil money penalty ($812,665.25), she made modest downward adjustments in the proposed base penalties, but increased the aggravation penalties for violations associated with unauthorized workers, resetting the fine amount at $605,250.
Articles Discussing Employment Eligibility For Non-Citizens.
An Administrative Law Judge with the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) recently entered an order against a Minnesota-based professional employer organization (PEO) for failing to comply with the Form I-9 attestation requirement. The order assessed nearly $230,000 in civil penalties against the PEO.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced the expansion of “myE-Verify” to 16 states: California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
On January 1, 2015, E-Verify will delete all transactions more than 10 years old from their system.Accordingly, as of January 1, 2015, E-Verify users will no longer have access to E-Verify cases created prior to December 31, 2004.Employers that would like to retain a record of cases more than 10 years old should download the new Historic Records Report, which will include all transactions for cases over 10 years old created prior to December 31, 2004.
On October 6, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of its “myE-Verify” website. According to USCIS, myE-Verify is “a one-stop shop for employees to create and maintain secure personal accounts and access new features for identity protection” and “signifies a significant step forward for added transparency, features, and identity protection” related to E-Verify.
Executive Summary: The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Discrimination (OSC) within the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made it a priority to pursue employers who allegedly misuse or abuse access to the E-Verify program and unlawfully discriminate against applicants and employees in hiring and termination on the basis of citizenship status discrimination and document abuse. Employers suspected of engaging in a pattern or practice of discriminatory employment verification procedures could face months of costly investigation and be forced to pay civil money penalties, back wages and punitive damages. What’s more, they could be ejected from participating in the E-Verify program, lose the right to do business in states that mandate private employer participation, and face debarment from federal contracting rights.
Employers work hard to make sure they comply with federal immigration law, but they must remember not to take their efforts too far. Last week, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) reminded employers everywhere of their obligations to treat both citizen and non-citizen employees alike when it comes to verifying the employment eligibility of individuals, to the tune of $155,500 in civil penalties.
United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched a new customer service enhancement to E-Verify, the Internet-based employment eligibility verification program that compares information on an employee’s Form I-9 with data in Social Security Administration (SSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records. With this enhancement, the E-Verify system will continue to issue a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) if there is a record mismatch that needs to be resolved before the employee can be confirmed as work authorized, but will now also notify the employee electronically.
A Massachusetts staffing agency has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), resolving allegations that it violated federal law by discriminating against work-authorized non-citizens during the E-Verify process.
After the federal government’s partial shutdown on October 1, 2013, employers were unable to access their E-Verify accounts. Now that funding has been restored and E-Verify services are back online, the Department of Homeland Security has issued guidance and instructions to employers.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 17, 2013 that E-Verify is once again available for use by employers following the end of the government shutdown. During the government shutdown, E-Verify users were unable to access their accounts, verify the employment authorization of new hires, or reconcile any pending tentative non-confirmations in E-Verify. Now that E-Verify is again available, DHS has released guidance and instructions to employers who were impacted by E-Verify’s temporary unavailability.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 1, 2013 that E-Verify will be unavailable during the federal government shutdown. Employers will be unable to access their E-Verify accounts, and E-Verify customer support and related services will be closed. This means that employers will be unable to run new hires or take any other action in E-Verify so long as the government shutdown continues.
Executive Summary: After a lengthy delay and extensive comment period, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released today a revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13 N). Employers may download the new form by visiting the USCIS web site at: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf. The government has made several significant changes to the Form I-9, which must be used by all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new hires to confirm they are authorized to work in the United States. Although prior versions of the Form I-9 will remain valid for use until May 7, 2013, we encourage employers to begin using the revised form immediately.
The Obama Administration chose to offer immigration protection to younger undocumented immigrants through the “Deferred Action Process for Young People” program. What could this potentially mean for your company?