Each year the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency and the Department of Labor (DOL) are increasing their audits of companies to see if they have correctly followed the procedure required to determine whether an employee is eligible to work in the United States. Until recently, most audits were directed at the industries that were thought to commonly employ unauthorized individuals – e.g. construction, food processing plants, garment factories, etc. Now, and going forward, the ICE and DOL audits are being directed at companies in many different and diverse industries.
Now, no matter what your industry, your company should be prepared for an audit of its I-9 records. The following is just a couple of general reminders about the records, for a complete evaluation of whether your company is I-9 compliant, please contact an immigration lawyer.
- An I-9 is required of all employees, and must be completed within 3 business days of the employee’s hire.
- An I-9 must be kept for all current employees, and must be kept for a certain amount of time following any employee’s termination.
- The I-9 should not be accessible to all other employees – only the need-to-know employees (e.g. human resources)
- Employers should not require additional documentation other than what is required by the I-9.
- Employers should not continuously check immigration status.
These are just a few of the requirements for the I-9, there are many other requirements which an I-9 review of your company will discover.