DHS Homeland Security Investigations plan more audits this year
photo credit: ice.gov
According to ICE's own press release, more than 5,200 businesses around the country have been served a notice of inspection (NOI) this calendar year. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) the team responsible for monitoring and maintaining compliance continue, stating they intend to increase the NOIs even more, to "create a culture of compliance among employers."
What does that mean for you as an employer? Well, you should be prepared for an ICE Audit. If you're wondering what exactly that entails, read on!
Surviving an ICE Audit
If you are going to be audited, you'll be notified either by certified US Mail or an auditor or an ICE agent may physically show up at your business to serve you with a Notice of Inspection (NOI)
Whoever receives the "service" will have to sign that they received it. The clock for three (3) days to respond starts then, so be sure everyone in your office knows who is responsible for managing Form I-9s and gets that notice to the right person ASAP. You'll want to notify your leadership team as well.
Hurry! You have three (3) days to comply. Don't mess around. You should have already been doing internal audits of your own Form I-9s, so pulling the requested records should be no problem, right?
The most likely request will be to see the Forms I-9 of your current employees, but watch out for the gotcha. Remember you must retain Form I-9s for three (3) years from the date of hire, or one (1) year from the date of termination, whichever is longer, so ICE may ask you for the Form I-9 of previous employees as well.
You may also be asked for some or all of the following:
- Current employee list, indicating the date of hire, termination and rehire where applicable
- E-Verify information
- Wage and Hour reports
- Payroll records
- Business entity information
- List of subcontractors and staffing companies
- ... And more.
You may be able to request an extension to complete your documentation, but remember, don't try to finagle the documents, in most cases, you'll be asked to remediate any form errors.
Not ready for an audit? Read The Ultimate Guide to I-9 Compliance.