I-9 & Worksite Compliance

South Florida I-9 & Worksite Compliance Attorney

Helping Employers Adhere to Immigration Employment Law

Every year Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) finds employers violating immigration employment laws. Employers with undocumented workers who aren’t compliant with state and federal laws can face both civil and criminal penalties. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) works with ICE officials to target local employers they suspect to be in violation of I-9 requirements. All employers in the US are required to complete and maintain a copy of an I-9 form for each employee to verify identity employment eligibility.

These violations can lead to serious legal problems and thousands of dollars per violation. In 2017, ICE issued its most expensive penalty for noncompliance with hiring requirements in the agency’s history. This penalty ended up costing one business $95 million. As an immigration law firm, we understand worksite enforcement and compliance in-depth. We can not only defend you during investigations but also develop a strategic compliance plan to help prevent the investigations entirely. During an I-9 inspection, HSI/ICE agents can demand to see your business’s I-9 records. If you fail to produce the correct paperwork, then you, your company, and your workers could be in serious legal trouble with the HSI/ICE.

I-9 Inspection paperwork and records commonly requested:

  • Copies of I-9 forms with identity and employment eligibility documentation
  • Payroll Records
  • Incorporations documents
  • Business Licenses
  • Tax records and filings

We help clients prepare for ICE I-9 inspections, get their paperwork in order, and provide legal representation for HIS or ICE interrogations or interviews when needed. Contact our I9 & worksite compliance lawyer at The Gaston Law Firm, P.A., to get started working on your case today. We counsel and represent employers in St. Lucie and Martin Counties and beyond.

How We Prepare Clients for ICE I-9 Audits

The best way to handle an I-9 inspection carried out by ICE – which may come with little to no warning – is to be prepared for it. You can arrange for private I-9 audits carried out by our South Florida-based I-9 inspection defense attorney, Mr. Christopher Gaston. During these annual or biannual audits, Attorney Gaston will review all your business documents related to your employee's eligibility for employment to look for any vulnerabilities that ICE might allege to be a law violation. By catching potential problems early, our law firm can help you fix them or prepare a clear explanation in case of an ICE inspection.

What to Expect During a Compliance Inspection

When an employer hires a new worker, they must complete Form I-9 to verify the applicant is eligible for employment in the U.S. The applicant must provide proof of their identity and eligibility in order to accept employment. Both the applicant and employer must complete and sign the designated sections on Form I-9. During an I-9 inspection, employers are asked to show not only the original Form I-9, but payroll records, tax records, and other employee records as well. However, producing these documents can be difficult for businesses with high turnover rates, such as companies in construction, agriculture, lawn service, food service, and hospitality industries. Special Agents from ICE will work with a forensic auditor to review the forms for substantive deficiencies and inconsistencies. Violations will cost the employer money and may even force them to fire ineligible employees. This can devastate the employer’s bottom line and can weaken the business’s ability to meet its service or production demands.

Consequences for Failing an I-9 Inspection

HSI/ICE I-9 inspections have increased in frequency in recent years. The risk of being targeted by an ICE I-9 inspection is real, and so are the consequences if you fail.

Failing an inspection has serious consequences, such as:

  • Your employees could be fast-tracked for removal
  • You could be tried on criminal charges and incarcerated
  • Your business could be fined thousands of dollars

In fact, workplace violations are serious, and the fines levied against your business can be more than $10,000 per violation. You might have only one undocumented worker but be cited for multiple violations.

Ask Our South Florida I-9 & Worksite Compliance Attorneys

At The Gaston Law Firm, P.A., our lawyer has decades of experience in I-9 inspections, complex immigration law, and workplace compliance cases. We can assess your situation and help you devise a plan to defend against allegations and audits. Don’t wait around for HSI or ICE to show up. You can work with our experienced team to ensure your employment eligibility paperwork is in order.

Call (888) 388-6859 to schedule a consultation with The Gaston Law Firm, P.A. Our South Florida I-9 & worksite compliance attorney can sit down with you and ensure you’re ready for any inspections or interviews.