Minimal progress has been made in recent years about an issue clearly important to the roofing industry – immigration. Roofing workers are scarce, and without a reliable source of workers, many contractors are faced with the risks of hiring undocumented workers.
The Immigration reform and Control Act requires employers to verify employees’’ identities and employment eligibility; the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is the primary means of documenting this verification. Employers who fail to properly complete I-9 forms are subject to civil fines ranging from $110 to $1,100 per paperwork error violation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced it conducted the highest number of I-9 audits during fiscal year 2012. ICE indicated I-9 audits of employers increased from 250 in fiscal year 2007 to more than 3,000 in fiscal year 2012. Expect this trend to continue. With an understanding of how the audit process works and how you can prepare for it, your business will be in a better position to avoid any fines or penalties at the conclusion of an audit process.