Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Oct 25, 2010

How would your Form I-9 process hold up in an audit?


Many employers mistakenly believe that they’d be safe during an I-9 audit as long as they haven’t hired any illegal workers. However, as the retail chain Abercrombie & Fitch recently found out, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is looking for more than just illegal workers. Abercrombie was fined over $1 million after ICE found “numerous technology-related deficiencies” in their electronic Form I-9 verification system. ICE noted that it found no instances of the company knowingly hiring unauthorized workers, but that “employers are responsible not only for the people they hire but also for the internal systems they choose to utilize to manage their employment process.” Since the company’s systems didn’t comply with the Form I-9 employment verification requirements, they were on the hook for penalties.

Tips: Complying with the Form I-9 employment verification requirements should be a relatively easy task for employers, yet we often see companies who aren’t doing things correctly. Given the potential costs, it’s worth taking a look at your process. If you want to see how your system stacks up against the requirements, start with our Legal Guide, “At a Glance: Form I-9” (5486) and call your Vigilant staff representative for guidance.