Homeland Security to inspect Tennessee businesses

The National Federation of Independent Business today circulated a press release urging Tennessee employers to get prepared for inspection by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

NFIB noted that Homeland Security recently said it would check the hiring records of 180 businesses in Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississipi and Alabama.

NFIB urges employers to take the “investigations very seriously” and reminds businesses that incorrect paperwork can result in finds of up $3,200 per violation.

NFIB Small Business Legal Center tips for getting ready.

— Make sure I-9 forms are completed correctly and accurately for all new hires. There is no small business exception for the Form I-9. Ensure the employee completes section one of the I-9 on the first day of employment. Accept only original documents, not photocopies, and don’t require additional documents from foreign employees.

— Keep I-9 forms separate from other HR files. A separate file should be kept for terminated employees.

— Conduct an in-house audit of I-9 forms and correct mistakes. Do not back-date any mistakes or use white out. Cross out incorrect information, add correct information, initial and insert current date.

— Contact an attorney immediately if you receive notice from ICE. CE only provides 72 hours to assemble the requested documentation, so act quickly.