Clients often ask if voluntary, internal I-9 audits are necessary. The answer to the question is a resounding yes, as penalties for noncompliance range from $110 to $1,100 per violation and can result in criminal charges and up to $16,000 in fines per each undocumented worker.
Employers must complete the I-9 form, which verifies an employee’s identity and authorization to work in the United States, for all new hires (Section 1 of the form must be completed by employees on their first day; employers must complete their section within three business days of new hires’ start). As part of the process, employers must physically examine employees’ documentation from List A or List B and List C of “Listed Acceptable Documents;” however, they may not stipulate which documents an employee can produce or discriminate against individuals on the basis of national origin, citizenship, or immigration status.
Employers need to then retain the form, separate from other personnel documents, for three years after an employee’s date of hire or for one year after separation, whichever is later.
Personnel File Audit
Clients often don’t know which documents they need to collect and retain for employees. Our compliance team inspects clients’ files and provides a customized filing and retention checklist to ensure that required forms are present, correct, and organized in a way that meets clients’ business needs.