U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced yesterday that 652 businesses nationwide have been targeted for in-person inspection of I-9 employment verification forms. Upon initial notification of the inspection, targeted employers are given a very short time frame, as little as three days, to prepare for a meeting with federal officials in which the company's Form I-9 records will be reviewed. Some employers have already begun receiving these audit notices.
According to ICE, the 652 businesses targeted in this nationwide audit have been selected as a result of specific leads and information obtained by the agency. As part of the agency's self-described "bold, new audit initiative," businesses in a wide range of industries have been affected including manufacturing, restaurants, construction and trucking.
All employers are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for each employee hired after November 6, 1986 to show that the employee is authorized to work in the United States. Additionally, the employer must re-verify documents for any employees whose work authorization documents are expiring.
In addition to a properly completed Form I-9 for all current and recently terminated employees, employers are being asked to turn over payroll documentation, any Social Security "no-match" letters they may have received, and other employee documentation.
If you receive a Notice of Inspection, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney, or any member of our Global Immigration Practice Group. Our Immigration Rapid Response Team can help you preserve your right to a three-day preparation window, and can conduct an emergency audit of all I-9 forms. The Team can be reached at (404) 240-4224 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are using the Fisher Phillips Electronic I-9 Solution program to electronically complete and store I-9 forms, utilizing the "error report" feature can alert you to all I-9 forms that are incomplete, expired, or should be purged.