The U.S. Departments of Labor, Homeland Security and Justice have announced that significantly higher civil fines will be assessed against employers who commit Form I-9 and E-Verify violations. Most significantly, the range for fines for mistakes or omissions on the I-9 (i.e., paperwork violations) will increase by nearly 100 percent (from the former range of $110 to $1,100 per violation to $216 to $2,156 per violation). The increase in fines is effective as of Aug. 1, 2016, and applies to all violations that took place after Nov. 2, 2015.

This marked increase in penalties suggests that Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be readying to refocus on worksite inspections (which have decreased in the past two years). It is therefore more important than ever to review your I-9 and other immigration compliance policies and procedures to ensure that you have proper safeguards in place. An internal review to fix errors and suggest areas for improvement can go a long way to minimizing the imposition of these significantly increased penalties. Please contact us if you would like assistance with examining and assessing your I-9s and your employment eligibility verification policies.