ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page


Immigration Daily

Archives

Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board

Resources

Blogs

Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation

Attorney2Attorney

CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network

EB-5

移民日报

About ILW.COM

Connect to us

Make us Homepage

Questions/Comments


SUBSCRIBE

Immigration Daily


Chinese Immig. Daily




The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
Copyright
© 1995-
ILW.COM,
American
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

Staffing Company Fined $209,600

Rate this Entry
By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law, PLLC

Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ContractStaffing.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	13.6 KB 
ID:	1070

In two recent decisions, U.S. v. Golden Employment Group, Inc., 12 OCAHO nos. 1274 and 1277 (2016), the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) found Golden Employment Group, a staffing company, committed 465 Form I-9 violations and was ordered to pay $209,600. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sought a penalty of $305,525.

Inspection and Notice of Intent to Fine

After ICE served a Notice of Inspection on Golden Employment, the company requested and received an extension of time of three days to respond to the NOI; thus, all I-9s and documentation were due on April 15, 2013. Later, in May and June 2013, Golden Employment presented additional I-9 forms and supporting documentation to ICE.

Thereafter, ICE issued a Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF) alleging the violations in eight separate counts. Count I alleged Golden Employment failed to timely prepare and/or present 125 Form I-9s; count II alleged the company failed to prepare or present 265 Form I-9s for its employees; counts III, IV, and V were similar and alleged the company failed to ensure five employees properly completed section 1 and the company failed to complete section 2 and/or section 3, the company failed to ensure 22 employees properly completed section 1, and the company failed to properly complete section 2 and/or 3 of the I-9 form for 73 employees. Counts VI through VIII made similar allegations of the failure to timely prepare or present I-9 forms for 15 employees.

In April 2014, ICE served a Notice of Suspect Documents alleging the I-9 forms of 433 employees could not be verified as work-authorized. The company only contested seven of the 433 employees and ICE found those arguments to be without merit. Thus, all 433 employees were terminated by Golden Employment.

In serving the NIF, ICE determined that Golden Employment had an error rate of 35% and set the baseline penalty at $605 per violation. It treated the size of the company as a mitigating factor (somewhat surprising due to the hundreds of employees employed) and the seriousness of the violations as an aggravating factor. Thus, the penalty remained at $605 per violation.

Golden Employment’s Defenses

In its defense, Golden Employment’s owner, Paul Hughes, stated “he was led to believe that submissions could continue after April 15, 2013 to demonstrate compliance with the regulations.” When questioned where he obtained that belief, Hughes could not name the ICE auditor or officer nor produce any letters, emails or memorandum to support his assertion. Golden Employment asserts if these “late-filed” I-9 forms were considered, its error rate would be substantially reduced; thus, the baseline penalty would be substantially reduced and its penalty would be $63,250. OCAHO found this defense to be meritless.

Golden Employment also asserted approximately 50 employees worked less than 24 hours for the company; thus, it had no obligation to obtain a completed I-9 form for these employees. OCAHO held there is no statute, regulation, or case law to support this proposition; rather, the case law concerns where the employee was terminated before the third day of employment, when section 2 of the I-9 form must be completed by the employer. But the number of hours worked over a period of days does not relieve a company of its I-9 obligation, especially when the employee has reached the third day of employment. However, Golden Employment was relieved of any liability for failure to complete section 2 of the I-9 forms for those 29 employees, who worked less than three days from their first date of employment.

Golden Employment also asserted its use of E-Verify on five employees excused its failure to complete an I-9 form for these employees. This defense is without merit because the E-Verify program “does not purport to insulate an employer from the necessity of proper I-9 completion.”

Conclusion

Overall, Golden Employment was found liable 140 violations concerning the failure to timely present I-9 forms, 236 violations for failure to prepare I-9 forms, and 89 violations for failure to properly complete I-9 forms.

OCAHO determined Golden Employment was entitled to the 5% mitigating factors of no history of I-9 violations with ICE or its predecessor, good faith in the investigation and no evidence that it knowingly employed unauthorized workers. The latter two findings appear to be are contrary to OCAHO case law which states good faith must be shown before the issuance of the NOI and the mere presence of unauthorized workers, knowingly or unknowingly, creates a 5% aggravating factor for those unauthorized workers.

In conclusion, OCAHO assessed $500 each for the 236 violations of failure to prepare or present I-9 forms and $400 each for the 229 violations for failure to timely prepare I-9 forms or committing paperwork errors. Thus, the total penalty was $209,600 or approximately a 1/3 decrease in ICE’s proposed penalty.

Takeaways

Due to the substantial reduction in the penalties, almost $100,000, the employer smartly litigated the matter. At other times, an employer can reach a resolution with ICE which will substantially reduce the penalties. If ICE refuses to reduce the penalties more than 10% and a substantial amount of money is in dispute, litigation is usually the best course. Of course, part of the decision-making process is the types of violations and your defenses.

Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to Facebook Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to Twitter Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to Google Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to StumbleUpon Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to Reddit Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to Digg Submit "Staffing Company Fined $209,600" to del.icio.us

Comments

  1. zwoo's Avatar
    outlet zapatos online
    bambas adidas baratas
    ugg boots outlet online
    adidas schoenen
    botas de futbol
    outlet scarpe new balance
    abercrombie deutschland
    new yeezy shoes
    new jordan releases
    toms sale
    mulberry v?skor rea
    nike tn pas cher
    air max pas cher femme
    cheap air max outlet
    cheap uggs
    adidas sneakers
    reebok running shoes
    burberry sac pas cher
    Ugg boots Sale
    nike sportschuhe
    nike air max 90 rea
    louboutin heels
    zapatillas running
    ray ban sale
    Toms Shoes For Women
    scarpe nike
    Nike Store
    scarpe adidas online
    burberry schal
    nike chaussures
    scarpe jordan
    uggs outlet
    moncler jacket sale
    goedkope nike air max
    pandora jewelry store
    asics sko
    fitflops sale uk
    balenciaga borse
    new balance femme
    Adidas schuhe
    michael kors handbags on sale
    nfl store
    michael kors v?ska rea
    Jordan Store
    cheap uggs for women
    Korting sportschoenen
    ugg clearance
    chaussure basket homme
    portafoglio michael kors
    huarache sneakers
    nike damenschuhe
    Nike Air Jordan 11
    ugg boots for women
    nike free
    Air Jordan News
    ray ban sunglasses for men
    Nuove scarpe nike
    fitflop online kopen
    air jordan pas cher homme
    scarpe running new balance
    nike joggesko
    Ray ban sale online
    chaussure Nike femme
    ray ban wayfarer eyeglasses
    Billig Nike
    Nike Online Store
    sac a main michael kors
    Nike Zapatos
    discount ray bans
    zapatillas nike baratas
    nike air schuhe herren
    moncler outlet
    nike jordan shoes
    New Balance Outlet
    chaussure new balance femme
    cheap nike air max
    nike schuhe g?nstig
    zapatilla adidas
    Uomo Hogan
    chaussure Nike homme
    Toms Outlet Online
    Miu Miu bags online
    adidas outlet
    ugg store
    womens nike air max
    abercrombie and fitch store
    toms shoes outlet
    Ray Ban Outlet
    timberland outlet
    adidas shoenen
    Chaussure Nike Pas Cher
    chaussure adidas pas cher
    billige nike sko
    oakley sunglasses clearance
    new balance sportschuhe
    zapatos de futbol nike
    polo ralph lauren pas cher
    adidas store
    coach factory outlet online
    prada outlet
    scarpe nike air max
    nike air
    Cheap Michael Kors
    oakley outlet
    adidas outlet stores online
    nike air max running shoes
    ugg factory outlet
    23 is back
    Billiga Nike Air Max
    scarpe hogan outlet
    Moncler Outlet Online
    michael kors bags outlet
    sandalias birkenstock
    adidas schuhe neu
    longchamp kaufen
    Jordan Schoenen
    cheap ray ban aviators
    scarpe nike running
    chaussures nike pas cher
    Air Jordan Release Date
    uggs for cheap
    ugg boots classic
    nike sneakers
    newest lebron shoes
    vans shoe store
    nike shoes
    Timberland skor
    ugg outlet online
    zwoo 9.6
Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: