MK Shareholder Attorney Kimberley Best Robidoux recently sat down with NBC San Diego’s Danny Freeman to discuss the new scrutiny on employers’ compliance with the Employment Eligibility Verification requirements of the Form I-9.
A timely, correct and complete Form I-9 is the employer’s good faith defense that they did not knowingly employ an unauthorized worker.
While employers are increasingly encouraged by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to participate in E-Verify, a program that compares information provided in the Form I-9 to data in the Social Security Administration and DHS databases, an 2010 independent study of E-Verify commissioned by DHS revealed that due to the program’s inability to spot identity theft, the program will identify as work authorized about 54% of unauthorized workers . So, while E-Verify is extremely accurate in identifying authorized workers as work authorized, it fails to identify unauthorized workers more than half of the time. Therefore, E-Verify should not be viewed by employers as a guarantee that their workers are all work-authorized.
Employers should be aware that ICE’s increased scrutiny of Form I-9 compliance is a signal that they should apply increased scrutiny to their own records and ensure that they are prepared in the event of an ICE audit.