A national janitorial company, will lose over half its Minnesota work force after an immigration audit, making it the second major business in that state to be hit by an Obama administration crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants.
The audit by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will result in about 240 workers losing their jobs, the Service Employees International Union reported.
Harvard Maintenance began issuing dismissal letters to employees in early March and is in the process of terminating workers, according to the SEIU, which represents the workers. Harvard Maintenance gave workers 90 days to rectify irregularities in their employment-eligibility documents before informing them they could no longer work there. The Obama administration has made employers the cornerstone of its immigration crackdown that began in 2009.
ALL employers are required to verify the work eligibility and identity of all employees hired in the United States. It makes no difference if the employee is you your spouse…you still must maintain a properly executed Form I-9.
What Happens if My Company Gets Audited by ICE?
Once a company has been targeted for a Form I-9 audit, an ICE agent will visit the business and serve a Notice of Inspection (NOI). The NOI instructs the company to produce all current employees’ I-9 Forms, their payroll records, business licenses, and other appropriate documents. Additionally, ICE will also ask for all Form I-9s for employees terminated over the past 3 years.
The government gives the company 3 business days to produce all requested documentation. It is possible to ask for an extension.
In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, ICE conducted audits of more than 2,740 companies, nearly twice as many as the previous year. The agency levied a record $7 million in civil fines on businesses that employed illegal workers. It is unclear how many workers have been let go as a result of the investigations.
If you get a notice of inspection from ICE, please contact a competent Immigration Attorney immediately.