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Electronics Manufacturer Ordered to Pay $43,000 for 62 I-9 Violations

Due to the unpredictability of I-9 penalties, now is the time for organizations to evaluate their I-9 program, enlist the help of experienced attorney auditors, and move to an electronic I-9 system before an ICE Audit occurs. Alyn Industries (an Electronics Source Company) learned their lesson the hard way after being fined $43,000 by the ICE in an I-9 investigation. The fines resulted from Alyn’s failure to prepare and/or present I-9 forms for 2 employees, ensure that section 1 of the Form I-9 was completed for 1 employee, and properly complete section 2 of the I-9 form for 59 employees; a grand total of 62 I-9 violations. ICE originally sought a fine of $63,767, calculating their fine base due to the presence of unauthorized workers, however Judge Thomas found these fines too high and rejected these arguments because of insufficient evidence of the discrepancies. Alyn admitted to all of the violations and argued they were a small business with no previous violations and the victims of poor economic conditions. Judge Thomas found each of the aforementioned statutory factors to be neutral in this case and ultimately came up with her own fine amount. Her fine was based mainly on a perception of fairness by determining the seriousness of the violations themselves, ranging from serious to utterly trivial set forth by OCAHO case law.

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