Businesses that employ an undocumented worker or an improperly documented one can face prosecution. The Obama Administration has been clear in its aims of cracking down employers suspected of hiring illegal immigrants and undocumented workers all over the country.
Stricter Laws, Stricter Penalties
According to Pew Research Center, about 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the United States. Eight million of them are undocumented workers. And while immigration laws are being reviewed to be friendlier for immigrants who help sustain the economy, forceful crack downs are done on businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers.
To comply with federal law, businesses in Tampa, FL and the rest of the country have to complete an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form for each of their employees. Documents provided by new employees must also be checked for proof of eligibility. Failing to fill the I-9 properly Employment Eligibility Verification form or knowingly forging its contents means breaking the law.
Periodically, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE does audits or inspections of company hiring records. Such audits and inspections are deemed necessary to ensure compliance with U.S. employment laws. Even if no undocumented worker is discovered, employers can be fined for paperwork errors, such as an inaccurate employee’s start date. Penalties and fines for paperwork errors can range from $110 to $1,110 a form. This means that fines can add up to several thousand dollars for a business employing dozens of workers.
Employers can appeal the fines, of course, often leading to a reduction. Hiring a lawyer specializing in such cases will be a big help for a successful appeal.
What Happens Next
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offer employers assistance with regards to the identification and consequent removal of any undocumented worker from their place of business. This is done through the Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers program. The said program educates business owners about various forms of fraudulent documentation and identity theft.
Dealing with problems regarding undocumented workers in Tampa, FL can cause tremendous strains on your business processes. Consult a professional lawyer today to know how you can best deal with undocumented worker problems.
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