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Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), it is unlawful for an employer to hire or continue to employ workers knowing they are not authorized to work in the U.S. Employers can verify eligibility by completing form I-9. Failing to comply with these rules can expose your business to increased liability and be subject to monetary penalties.

Recently the United States Department of Justice announced their plan to increase civil monetary penalties for employers and businesses who knowingly employ an authorized worker. They may also face increased fines for certain other immigration-related violations. This rule will take effect on August 1, 2016, and be applicable to any violations that occur after November 2, 2016. This increase comes in response to the Bipartisan Act of 2015, which requires agencies to adjust penalties for inflation.

Under the new rule, the minimum penalty for a first offense will increase from $375 to $539 per employee. The maximum penalty will increase from $3200 to $4313 per employee. The largest increase raises the maximum penalty for multiple violations from $16,000 to $21,563 per worker. Simple paperwork violations can now be assessed a maximum penalty of $2156 per individual, which is up from $1100. For unfair immigration-related employment practices, the max penalty will increase to $3563 per person, up from $3200.