Grand America Hotel has agreed to pay a fine of nearly $2 million to avoid criminal prosecution for hiring employees not authorized to work in the U.S. The company will also cooperate with a Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) investigation and will take steps to correct its hiring practices.
According to the agreement, lower-level Grand America employees and mid-level managers conspired to rehire workers who were let go following a Homeland Security Investigations audit of I-9 employee verification forms. That audit, in September 2010, found that 133 employees weren’t authorized to work in the U.S. The company was issued a warning notice and it told Homeland Security Investigations it had terminated the workers.
In reality, however, as Federal agents later learned, Grand America managers had created three temporary “employment agencies” in August and October 2011 to rehire 43 of the workers, the majority of whom returned to work under different names using fraudulent identity documents.
The company will pay a $1.95 million fine to Homeland Security and spend another $500,000 to implement new policies to comply with immigration law.
As stated by DHS, all industries, regardless of size, location and type are expected to comply with the law. As this significant settlement demonstrates, there are real consequences for businesses that employ an illegal workforce. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP provides an array of service options to assist you in your I-9 compliance efforts.
For more information, please contact a Maria del Carmen Ramos at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813.227.2252.