FoxHire has blogged numerous times about the government’s crackdown on the misclassification of W-2 Employees as Independent Contractors. It now appears that these efforts are also helping the government zero in on I-9 violations.
According to a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management titled “ICE Notices of Inspections May Have Involved Collaboration with WHD,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent hundreds of notices of inspections to employers on September 15, and it is believed many of the recipients of those notices are also targets of a nationwide misclassification audit being conducted by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). According to Attorney Mary Pivec, who was quoted in the article, the ICE and the WHD are working together to identify employers who are exploiting foreign workers by classifying them as Independent Contractors, so it’s not much of a stretch to suspect that these audits are also helping them zero in on possible I-9 violations.
While the I-9 audits are generally focusing on industries known for employing illegal immigrants, the article warns that no industry or geographic location is immune, so your clients (and you, if you run your own back-office for your contractors) should be on guard!