If you work in a human resources capacity for an Atlanta-area employer, it can be important to ensure that your hiring practices fulfill federal requirements. A diligent Atlanta I-9 compliance lawyer might be a valuable consultant when trying to meet these kinds of federal mandates. An attorney could review your hiring process and advise you on how to better align this process with federal policy.
In Atlanta, it is unlawful to hire undocumented workers. Under 8 United States Code §1324(a)(3)(A), if an employer exhibits a “pattern or practice” of hiring unauthorized employees, they could be subject to fines and other criminal consequences from the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA). As such, it may be important to consult with a well-informed Atlanta I-9 compliance attorney about potentially damaging hiring practices.
In the United States, most employees must fill out an I-9 form when they first start work. When an employer asks a new hire to complete an I-9 form, they must provide their Social Security number and several forms of identification to be photocopied and kept on file by the organization.
As a result, an undocumented employee could try to use fraudulent identification. Under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §1546(b), employers who accept counterfeit or stolen identification documents could face felony charges along with the employee. A competent Atlanta lawyer who is familiar with I-9 compliance policies may be able to advise local companies on how to avoid the acceptance of false identification from potential workers.
An employee who has been issued a green card by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) may submit an I-765 form to this organization and receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) on their first day of work. This paperwork may be used as additional proof of a lawful resident’s ability to work in the United States.
Employers also can use E-Verify—a high-tech method to determine an individual’s authorization to work in the United States—on a voluntary basis as a supplement to the I-9 form. This method is not required by federal law, but it can serve as an extra safeguard to ensure compliance with national employment statutes.
If you are concerned about the consequences of hiring unauthorized workers, it may be wise to contact a local attorney. Failure to comply with federal employment laws might result in hefty fines, as well as other harsh penalties. As a result, it can be important to stay informed on effective practices for ensuring that employees are authorized to work in this country.
An experienced Atlanta I-9 compliance lawyer may be able to advise you on how to implement new methods of verification and could inform you if your business violates any federal mandates. If you have failed to find a lawyer to help your business, contact our office to set up a meeting with a local counselor who can facilitate an informative consultation.