I-9 Compliance Best Practices

Walmart, one of the largest employers in the world was the object of two investigations concerning undocumented workers which cost the company $11 million dollars. That experience taught Walmart a lesson and now it adheres to Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) "10 Best Practices for Employers", which is includes in ICE's IMAGE ("Ice Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers") Program. These practices required for employers who contract with the U.S. government: include registering with the E-Verify Program, conducting training programs for all staff related to I-9 compliance, annual internal and third party I-9 audits, implementing an internal tip line, and full cooperation with government officials from the Department of Homeland Security. Walmart, its general contractors, all sub-contractors and sub-sub-contractors also adhere to these various programs. All this is quite burdensome and as long as an employer is not contracting with the government, not all aspects are recommended for all employers, however, educational training of employees concerning I-9 compliance, internal and external audits are highly recommended for all employers. The I-9 seems like a simple process and form, but it is far more complex and errors in paperwork are extremely common as well as substantive violations. A change in business culture must also take place in order for perfectly compliant I-9 records and U.S. workforce becomes the norm.