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Increased Penalties for Immigration-Related Violations
Friday, August 19, 2016

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a new rule increasing penalties against employers for various immigration-related violations. The new penalty structure applies to civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015.

Given the significant increase in penalties for immigration-related violations, employers should use particular care when dealing with I-9 form completion and other immigration-related employment processes and practices. We recommend that all employers perform an annual internal I-9 audit and consider periodic I-9 audits by third parties. Please refer to our prior alert as guidance when performing internal I-9 audits.

The penalty structure for first violations is set forth below. Increased penalties for repeat violations are also in effect.

New and Old Penalty Comparison

Type of Violation

Old Penalty Structure

New Penalty Structure

I-9 Verification Paperwork

$110 - $1,110

$216 - $2,156

Unlawful Employment of Unauthorized Workers

$375 - $3,200

$539 - $4,313

Unfair Employment Practices (Includes Discrimination)

$375 - $445

$3,200 - $3,563

Unfair Employment Practices (Document Abuse)

$110 - $1,100

$178 - $1,782

H-1B Violations (Includes Filing Fees Paid by Employee, LCA Public Access File Violations)

Maximum $1,000

Maximum $1,782

H-1B Violations (Includes Discrimination, Willful Failure Pertaining to Wages/Working Conditions)

Maximum $5,000

Maximum $7,251

H-1B Violations (Includes Certain Displacement of U.S. Workers)

Maximum $35,000

Maximum $50,758

H-2B Violations (Includes Failure to Pay Wages, Unlawful Termination)

Maximum $10,000

Maximum $11,940

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