With a low unemployment rate comes the problem of fewer workers to choose from to fill vacancies in the company roster throughout the year. That scenario is significantly compounded by the huge need for additional employees during the holiday shopping, traveling, and partying season. While it may be tempting to turn a blind eye toward documentation issues or even seek out illegal immigrants to fill these short-term posts, the staffing professionals at Action Staffing Group strongly caution against that.
Regardless of the length of employment or the position being filled, hiring undocumented workers can result in severe penalties, including hefty fines, loss of business license, and jail time. According to Connect Pay USA—
- First-time offenders can receive fines of $250-$2,000 per illegal employee.
- For a second offense, the fine is $2,000-$5,000 per illegal employee.
- Three or more offenses can cost an employer $3000-$10,000 per illegal employee.
- A pattern of knowingly employing illegal immigrants can mean extra fines and up to six months in jail for an employer.
- Besides, “harboring” illegal immigrants, or employing ten or more illegal immigrants in one year can lead to ten years of prison time.
Always confirm work eligibility. Insist on the required documents that verify identity and prove an individual is authorized to work in this country. Enforce a zero-tolerance stand against delayed completion of the IRS Form I-9.
Employers are required to make a good-faith effort to ensure their employees are legally permitted to work in this country. Those “good faith” efforts include checking social security numbers for validity as some persons seeking employment attempt to do so with a false or stolen identity.