Businesses and organizations today are faced with a tremendous amount of risk, as local, state, and federal laws demand compliance on an ever-evolving spectrum of regulations. Even small errors, on something like an I-9 form, can have haunting effects on a business’ financial wellbeing.
HR professionals are tasked with the responsibility of not only knowing regulations, but also with keeping up with their changes. And most importantly, they have the responsibility of making sure that compliance processes are in place, and that risk is mitigated, in order to avoid substantial fines and lawsuits.
It’s a spooky world out there, and here are some compliance stats that might keep some HR pros up at night, howling at the moon.
Fines for Non-Compliance in Workplace Safety and Health Standards (OSHA)
The largest fines in history due to non-compliance are down-right frightening! (TeleMessage)
ICE agents or auditors conduct inspections of Forms I-9 for compliance. When technical or procedural violations are found, an employer is given ten business days to make corrections. An employer may receive a monetary fine for all substantive and uncorrected technical violations. Employers determined to have knowingly hired or continued to employ unauthorized workers will be required to cease the unlawful activity, may be fined, and in certain situations may be criminally prosecuted.
Monetary penalties for knowingly hire and continuing to employ violations range from $375 to $16,000 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving penalties, at the higher end. Penalties for substantive violations, which includes failing to produce a Form I-9, range from $110 to $1,100 per violation.
I-9 Form Knowing Hire / Continuing to Employ Fine Schedule: (ICE)
Errors on Form I-9s, such as failure to check a box or enter a date, can now result in a monetary penalty between $224 and $2,236 per violation
I-9 Substantive / Uncorrected Technical Violation Fine Schedule
There’s a dangerous tendency in the world of HR compliance to dismiss or perhaps simply ignore Form I-9 responsibilities based upon the mistaken belief that investigations only happen to employers who flagrantly hire or employ undocumented workers. When you consider a $2.7 billion fine to Google, you can think that compliance will only be checked on the “big companies,” but this simply is not true.
Many employers learn the hard way that ICE can still penalize you for simple “paperwork” violations (which can now be as high as $2,236 per form), just because you failed to follow the established process for ensuring you have a legal workforce.
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Compliance risks run from I-9 forms to FMLA tracking, from ACA compliance to Cobra compliance, to worker safety training to sexual harassment training, and much more. No business can afford to ignore the need for an efficient and consistent compliance process; there’s simply too much at risk. Don’t get tricked into thinking that “they” won’t find you. Be proactive, and make sure that your compliance process is a treat, giving you consistency, efficiency, and the ability to Work. Compliant.
David LaMontagne is the Manager of Core Technology at Essium, a premiere software company that has developed a revolutionary, customizable, onboarding compliance platform named PRYDE that leverages the power of intelligent bots. With the use of intelligent forms and AI automation, PRYDE can increase onboarding consistency and remove compliance risks, helping HR professionals DISCOVER COMPLIANCE.