In U.S. v. Solutions Group International, LLC, OCAHO ordered the employer to pay $56,150 in penalties after accounting for some mitigating factors.
After Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) served a Notice of Inspection, the employer, Solutions Group, was unable to produce some I-9 forms and, as to the forms produced, ICE found various sections out of compliance.
ICE filed a two-count complaint for: failure to prepare/present I-9 forms and failure to properly complete Section 2. ICE assessed a baseline fine of $935 per violation. It also aggravated the penalties by 5% each for lack of good faith and the seriousness of the violations. ICE sought $86,398 in penalties.
The Court agreed with some of Solutions Group defenses but also held that the government met its burden in proving that the employer was liable for eighty-four I-9 violations. Thus, the Court ordered the employer to pay $56,150 in fines for I-9 violations.
This is another example of the importance of proactive audits. Some of the violations could have been corrected if this employer would have engaged in a proactive guided audit.