When the pandemic abruptly shifted many employment relationships from offices and other physical workplaces to remote environments, many governmental and regulatory authorities responded by modifying existing protocols to accommodate new realities. Among those were temporary adaptations to long-standing federal requirements for inspecting identification and verifying employment eligibility, whereby employers were permitted to forego standard document inspection procedures while completing Form I-9.
The OCAHO has recently issued two Form I-9 enforcement decisions involving hospitality and construction industry employers that should be of interest to all our clients.
In United States v. Symmetric Solutions, Inc. d/b/a Minerva Indian Cuisine, 10 OCAHO no. 1209 (OCAHO February 6, 2014), an OCAHO Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") upheld a $77,000 fine imposed by Immigration Customs Enforcement ("ICE") against a restaurant in Alpharetta, Georgia ("Restaurant"), for Form I-9 violations. ICE claimed that the Restaurant failed to ...
The recent decision by the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (“OCAHO”) in United States v. The Red Coach Rest., Inc., 10 OCAHO No. 1200 (2013) provides a roadmap for employers seeking to reduce fines sought by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for Form I-9 violations. In Red Coach, the ICE complaint alleged that Red Coach: (1) failed to prepare Form I-9’s for nine employees within 3 days of their hire, and/or failed to present the forms to ICE upon request; and (2) failed to ensure proper completion of Form I-9’s ...
On March 8, 2013, the USCIS published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it had recently revised the Employment Eligibility Verification form (“Form I-9”), and that employers must start using this new form by May 7, 2013. Employers using prior versions of the Form I-9 on or after May 8, 2013, will violate the law and be subject to worksite enforcement fines and other penalties.
[Excerpt from EBG April 2013 Immigration Alert. Click here to read the entire Immigration Alert.]
Many of our hospitality clients are revisiting immigration requirements to see if there are any advantages that they have overlooked. One overlooked advantage is the USCIS’s E-Verify system. Employers know that the IRCA requires them to satisfy the Form I-9 requirements. Many have found this difficult to implement and have been the targets of worksite enforcement operations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) that are costly to defend and often result in significant fines. Traditionally, many hospitality employers have looked at ...
On December 6, 2010, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco announced that the owners of the El Balazo restaurant chain in the Bay Area had been charged in a 20-count criminal Information with tax fraud and harboring illegal aliens. These charges arise out of a raid made by federal agents in May 2008 that resulted in the arrest of 64 illegal aliens at several of these restaurants. The Information charges the owners with conspiracy to commit tax evasion, tax evasion, harboring illegal aliens for financial gain, and submitting false Social Security ...
On November 2, 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a Report on the H-2B nonimmigrant program (Report). This Report examines fraud and abuse by examining 10 criminal prosecutions of recruiters and employers participating in the H-2B program. This program allows employers in the hospitality and other industries with a onetime occurrence, peak load, seasonal or intermittent employment needs to supplement their domestic workforce with foreign workers whenever U.S. workers cannot be located for the positions.
The Report found ...
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