Special Note Regarding Good Faith Defense for Minor I-9 Paperwork Violations
Employers that commit only technical or procedural mistakes in completing the I-9 forms must be given a 10-day period to cure these violations after any investigation or audit of an employer’s I-9 records.
Fines for such I-9 paperwork violations cannot be issued unless an employer fails to cure the technical or procedural errors within this 10-day period. The 10-day period for correction is not available when the paperwork violation is substantive, when the employer has engaged in a pattern of I-9 violations with the intent to avoid a requirement imposed by the INA, or when the employer has been issued a previous warning notice, notice of intent to fine, or a notification of technical or procedural failures letter.
Employers should be as careful and meticulous in assuring that the form is properly and completely filled in. In fact, the main impact of this provision is that it protects employers from large monetary fines when they have not hired unauthorized workers but merely made non-substantive mistakes in completing the I-9 forms.