Expansion of Remote Work Options May Be Fueling Explosion of I-9 Audits

There’s an interesting piece in SHRM’s most recent HR Week about the explosion of I-9 audits in recent years.

In short, they’ve grown from three (3) in 2004, to 500 in 2008, to a whopping 3,004 in 2012. That’s a more than 100,000 percent increase in less than a decade.

Fines can be enormous: From $375 to $3,200 for each first offense, $3,200 to $6,500 for second offenses, and $4,300 to $16,000 for third offenses. That’s in addition to paperwork penalties, which range from $110 to $1,100 each.

Is remote work the big factor?

The  No. 1 factor that results in higher-range penalties? It’s the percentage of bad I-9s.

The government continues to target employers who are in any way tied to homeland security. But that doesn’t mean that other employers can relax.

One wrinkle that may be behind the huge increase is the expansion of remote work options. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to target situations in which the employee and employer are in different locations when the I-9 is completed. One suggestion SHRM offers is making a notary available to the employee.

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And, don’t forget: there’s a new I-9 form.

For more, go here.

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at mark.toth@manpowergroup.com.