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Failing to verify employees’ I-9s by their third day at work is a “substantive” violation that can not be corrected in order to reduce or eliminate penalties, according to a recent decision by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) that was posted recently on The National Law Review Web site.

The decision was waged against a Chinese restaurant, which argued that they should not be fined for failing to verify I-9s within three days because they corrected the issue after being charged with the violations. Generally, an employer charged with “technical and procedural” violations is given 10 days in which to correct the issues. However, the OCAHO ruled that failing to complete Section 2 of the I-9 within three business days of hire is a “substantive” rather than “technical and procedural” violation, so no 10-day correction period was allowed. This could result in increased penalties for the restaurant.

If you are a contract recruiter who does not outsource the back-office tasks, you are responsible for ensuring that each of your contractors completes Section 1 of the I-9 and that you personally view their original documents proving they are authorized to work in the United States and complete Section 2 of the form by their third day at work. Failing to do so can result in hefty fines. Or you can outsource this responsibility to a back-office service provider, like FoxHire, which will handle all I-9 issues as the official W-2 Employer for all of your contractors.

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