Form I-9 Audit Results in Nearly $2 Million Fine for Hotel

Form I-9 Blogs

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that a hotel chain will forfeit nearly $2 million to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for hiring unauthorized workers –including illegal aliens – following a Form I-9 audit and a non-prosecution agreement between the company, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah, and ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), according to a news release from ICE.

ICE – the principal investigative arm of the DHS – reports several lower-level employees and mid-level managers at Salt Lake City, UT-based Grand America Hotels and Resorts “conspired to rehire unauthorized workers” during a Form I-9 audit of employee verification forms. After Grand America was notified that 133 employees were not authorized to work in the United States and issued a warning notice, the company told HSI those employees were terminated. HSI special agents later learned “the conspirators” in the company created temporary employment agencies to rehire 43 of the unauthorized workers under different names using fraudulent identity documents.

ICE reports that along with forfeiting $195,000 to the DHS Grand America is required to take substantial remedial measures expected to cost the company nearly $500,000 to implement that include:

Adopting new policies to comply with immigration law;

  • Incorporating immigration law compliance clauses into labor service contracts;
  • Re-training human resources employees on Form I-9 procedures; and
  • Agreeing to continue to use the E-Verify employment eligibility verification website.

ICE also reports this settlement is a result of a Form I-9 audit of Employment Eligibility Verification forms. Employers are required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) to maintain original Form I-9 forms for all current employees for inspection. In the case of former employees, retention of forms is required for a period of at least three years from the date of hire or for one-year after the employee is no longer employed, whichever is longer. The news release from ICE is available at http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1409/140910saltlakecity.htm.

More E-Verify and Form I-9 Information from ESR

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority®’ – is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps employers with E-Verify and Form I-9 compliance. To learn more about E-Verify and Form I-9 services from ESR, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, email sales@esrcheck.com, or visit http://www.esrcheck.com/Services/Identity-Credit/I-9-E-Verify.