Latest Developments in I-9 Worksite Enforcement

Once upon a time, I-9 compliance was a relatively benign matter. Employers had a one-page form, a pamphlet-sized handbook, and a very slim chance of ever getting into trouble with the government. But that was a very different time (and place). That was before the terrorism on 9/11, the increasing focus on immigration enforcement, and the rise of modern technology, which makes the passing (and verifying) of data all the more possible.

Today, worksite compliance looks very different. Over the past few years, enforcement efforts have measurably increased across the board, from I-9 inspections, to discrimination complaints, to E-Verify compliance activities. Expectations surrounding compliance have also risen. Gone are the days when an errant I-9 or botched verification would stay safely buried in the deep dark recesses of an employer’s HR files. There’s now actually a pretty good chance an employer might be invited to share these secrets with an inspecting government agency – an event for which most employers are sorely unprepared.

Fortunately, there are proven strategies for righting these wrongs and ultimately reconciling the often-conflicting goals of I-9 compliance and business success. It all starts with education – a deep but necessary plunge into the inner workings of I-9 enforcement, litigation, anti-discrimination, and evolving policy changes. And I invite you all to take that important step by attending the 10th Annual FBA Worksite Enforcement Conference in Chicago, IL on April 20th. See below for important registration details.

A Comprehensive Program

The FBA Worksite Enforcement Conference is the only program (to my knowledge) which focuses solely on I-9, E-Verify, and immigration compliance. While the conference is designed primarily for immigration and employment attorneys, it has also attracted human resource professionals, compliance officers, and general counsel who are eager to learn about the latest developments, strategies, and insights surrounding I-9 and immigration compliance.

This year’s program will also explore new (and possibly emerging) compliance risks relating to the employment of H-1B employees and IT outsourcing in general. The speakers will also discuss late-breaking developments including the proposed new form I-9, the DOJ/ICE joint guidance on self-auditing, and the new 24-month STEM OPT extension rule.

Hot Topics 

(1) Civil and Criminal Worksite Enforcement – featuring the Section Chief of the ICE worksite enforcement unit, this panel will discuss current trends in criminal immigration-related enforcement; updates on civil and administrative I-9 proceedings; and the use of forfeiture and other enforcement tools.

(2) OCAHO Update – the panel will discuss the latest trends and developments in worksite enforcement cases with Judge Ellen Thomas who, up until recently, has been the sole administrative law judge handling I-9 penalty decisions.

(3) Trends in Corporate Compliance Strategy – this panel will discuss B-1 travel compliance programs; honesty policies; and avoiding the independent contractor trap.

(4) Avoiding Discrimination in Hiring, Outsourcing, and Auditing – featuring the Deputy Special Counsel for the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), this panel will discuss the definition of “intent” for discrimination purposes; permissible questions during hiring process; and potential discrimination issues in outsourcing.

(5) Terminated IT Worker RICO Lawsuits – featuring Paul Virtue (partner at Mayer Brown and former general counsel of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)), this panel will explore the legal theory of RICO class actions in the H-1B context; mitigating corporate risk in light of H-1B RICO lawsuits; and best practices in outsourcing.

(6) Defending Clients in ICE Audits – featuring a staff attorney with ICE, this panel will discuss how to respond to subpoenas and broad requests from the government; notice of suspect document issues; and preparing for re-audits

(7) The Evolving Workplace – I’ll discuss the practical issues in selecting and implementing an electronic I-9 system and draw on the considerable expertise of two guest speakers from well-known (and respected) corporations.

(8) Legislation, Policy and Politics – last but not least, the conference will present a special session on the future of immigration and worksite enforcement, including an update on litigation challenges to executive action; worksite enforcement and unauthorized workers in presidential campaign rhetoric; the impact of enforcement policy on U.S. employers; and consequences of current employment turnover patterns.

Event Details and Registration

Wednesday, April 20, 2016; 8:45 am – 5:00 pm

Sidley Austin LLP
1 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois

Sign-up now while there are still spots remaining!

 

Text version: Register Here

Hope to see you in Chicago!

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John Fay is an immigration attorney and technologist with a deep applied knowledge of I-9 compliance and E-Verify rules and procedures. During his career, John has advised human resource managers and executives on a wide variety of corporate immigration compliance issues, including the implementation of electronic I-9 systems. In his current role, John serves as Vice President and General Counsel at LawLogix, where he is responsible for overseeing product design and functionality while ensuring compliance with ever-changing government rules.