The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) used its administrative powers
to implement higher monetary, civil, and criminal penalties to be used
against employers who violated the Immigration Reform and Control Act
of 1986 (IRCA). The final ruling was announced on June 30th, just two days before the new penalties took effect on August 1st, 2016. In particular, the increase is meant to punish United States employers
who hire foreign workers that do not have proper authorization or visas,
or who intentionally participate in unfair employment practices that involve
immigrants or foreign nationals.
New changes include:
Unlawful employment of foreign nationals: Penalty increased to $539 per violation, up from $375; maximum violation
fiscal penalty increased to $4,313 per violation, up from $3,200
Maximum penalty for multiple violations: Increased to $21,563, up from minimum of $6,469
Form I-9 paperwork violations: Penalty increased to $2,156 per worker, up from $1,100
In order to maintain proper IRCA compliance, an employer:
Must re-verify the eligibility of all workers who had been hired on or
after November 6th, 1986.
- Ensure each employee has completed and provided a Form I-9.
- Cannot discriminate against potential employees based on nationality, citizenship,
or immigration history.
- Hire, retain, or promote the hiring of a worker not authorized to be employed
within or by the United States.
In addition to the monetary penalties, extreme cases of obvious employment
malpractice could potentially face criminal penalties. Each incident is
handled on a case-by-case basis. An employer also faces the destruction
of their professional reputation if fined or penalized by the DOJ based
on IRCA violations.
If you need help understanding these changes, or if you want to ensure
you are not violating any IRCA regulations, you can
contact USILaw. Our Montgomery County immigration lawyers assist employers with
assurance and compliance issues to avoid future complications and fines. Call
800.335.8520 today for additional information.