Conducting a self Form I-9 and policy compliance audit can pose many challenges. The purpose of an audit is for an independent party with expertise in assessing realistic I-9 compliance liabilities to provide an objective perspective.
Avoid I-9 Verification Compliance Failures by Hiring Experienced Immigration Counsel Conducting a self Form I-9 and policy compliance audit can pose many challenges. The purpose of an audit is for an independent party with expertise in assessing realistic I-9 compliance liabilities to provide an objective perspective. If audits are handled incorrectly, the penalties that companies face can be much more severe than a civil monetary fine. Employers that engage in a faulty self-audit of their Forms I-9 can face felony charges such as falsification, perjury, discrimination, and tampering with a government record. During ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) worksite enforcement raids, company managers and owners can be apprehended and information gathered from confidential government informants can be used against a company during litigation. Since internal audits have a higher error rate, it’s recommended to hire an experienced immigration attorney during the I-9 verification process to protect your company and your employees from employment eligibility verification compliance failures. An experienced immigration attorney can properly guide companies through an I-9 form audit, fix correctable errors, and protect the company from liability issues. Internal audit responsibilities are typically given to the HR department, a risk management department, or I-9 “consultants”. The laws are often too complex to be fully understood by the HR department. The laws are often changing and there are many “gray areas” that leave HR employees confused. An HR audit often results in gaps and overlooked errors. It can be risky hiring a consultant because there is no controlling law that states what is necessary to become a consultant and there are no set duties that they owe to their clients. Companies should be wary of an I-9 consultant that is not a licensed attorney because only attorneys can provide legal advice and recommendations. A consultant that is not an attorney can only offer suggestions. To avoid oversights and errors and ensure compliance with lawful hiring practices, businesses should implement an audit led by an external immigration attorney. Electronic employment verification databases have weaknesses and it’s easy to be unaware of issues. An experienced immigration attorney can aid in correcting violations contained in the forms and the business can be protected by the attorney- client privilege. About the Author: The Lozano Law Firm, PLLC, is a San Angelo and San Antonio TX immigration law firm that focuses on work visas for business professionals. For more information please visit http://www.abogadolozano.com or call 210-932-3600.
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