The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) prevents employers from hiring employees who are not legally authorized to work in the United States. If employers do not follow the requirements of this act carefully when hiring employees, the federal government may levy fines or pursue criminal charges.
The principal requirement of the IRCA is that each employee has a corresponding I-9; the employer should retain a copy of this documentation. The IRCA states that employers are prohibited from hiring any employee who does not have the requisite documentation to prove that they are authorized to work in the United States.
Our immigration attorneys are available to assist employers in understanding the requirements of the IRCA to ensure they successfully navigate compliance with the regulations. Additionally, our Michigan I-9 compliance lawyers can offer guidance on how to enact hiring policies that avoid violations.
The IRCA was enacted for two purposes; the first is to prevent employers from hiring workers who do not maintain work eligibility in the United States. By requiring an I-9 for each employee, employers are forced to retain accurate documentation for each person they hire.
The second purpose of the act is to institute several protections for workers during the hiring process. Under the IRCA, employers are barred from discriminating against prospective hires based on their nation of birth or citizenship status. For example, employers cannot reject a lawful permanent resident’s (LPR) application if the reason for the rejection is that the LPR is not a citizen.
Ensuring that a business is compliant with the IRCA in terms of its documentation management and vetting is critical, but it can also be complex. Under Title 8 § 274a.2 of the federal regulations, each employer must examine a prospective employee’s I-9 and associated documentation to ensure that every employee is legally authorized to work in the United States. Employers have only three days from the time an employee is hired to complete the verification process and obtain a copy of each employee’s I-9. One of our lawyers in Michigan could help an employer comply with the I-9 requirements and review their hiring process to ensure no violations of the law are occurring.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may fine employers hundreds of dollars for an initial I-9 offense. Repeat offenders could be subject to fines of more than ten thousand dollars. The DHS can also bar an employer from entering a contractual arrangement with the government for any purpose. Even if an employer is unknowingly failing to follow the guidelines of the ICRA, the business is still liable. A lawyer in Michigan could help someone if they are facing penalties for failing to comply with I-9 requirements.
Understanding the documentation requirements and timelines to ensure compliance with the IRCA’s regulations can pose both a logistical and resource challenge for employers. Michigan I-9 compliance lawyers are available to review the hiring policies you have in place and recommend changes to help you avoid fines and penalties due to violations. The best way to prevent an audit is to understand the requirements of the ICRA and employ an accurate verification process. Our dedicated legal team has significant experience working with employers to help ensure I-9 compliance. For more information about how we could help you, call (248) 406-4100 today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.