Your I-9 Survival Guide
Posted Thursday, August 25th, 2016 by
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Bam! You’ve just been hit with an I-9 Audit.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been cracking down on businesses with illegal workers and that means cracking down on businesses employing people not authorized to work in the United States. The penalties for I-9 violations can add up quickly. While we recommend keeping up-to-date documentation, developing an audit action plan and using a digital solution to manage your I-9 process, we realize that these items aren’t always in place before the audit process begins.
This leaves you asking the question – what do I do next?
To help lead you through the process, we’ve developed The I-9 Audit Survival Guide to give you a step-by-process of what to do next and how to plan for next time. While the full guide provides more details, here are some quick suggestions to keep in mind:
- Contact Your Legal Counsel – Your attorney can provide you with legal advice on the specifics relating to your case. If you do not have legal counsel, it is something that should be carefully considered. If possible, it is highly recommended to hire an individual or firm with experience with the I-9 audit process.
- Adjust For Paper vs. Electronic Audits – Once you received the Notice of Inspection and engaged your legal counsel, you need to prepare for the I-9 audit. Unless you have been granted an extension, you only have three (3) business days to get your documentation in order. It is important to note that the process differs slightly depending upon whether you are using a paper-based or electronic process to manage your I-9 process. By using a digital system, it could help you identify potential errors, complete easier searches and perform internal audits.
- Plan For Next Time – Once an I-9 audit has been completed, you should take the time to learn from your experience. One of the most effective ways to minimize the impact of an I-9 audit is to catch the errors before you are served with a Notice of Inspection. This can be done by implementing an internal auditing policy. While there are varying degrees of internal auditing, it can still leave room for errors that might slip through unnoticed.
This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.