Even eBay Gets The Blues


The news reports regarding California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman’s undocumented housekeeper highlight critical issues for all employers.

When are you constructively on notice that your employee is not legally eligible to work in the U.S.? What do you do when you receive notice of a social security mismatch between your employee’s name and their social security number? Knowing the answers to these questions in today’s environment is important. According to Department of Homeland Security statistics released this month, DHS has audited more than 3,200 employers suspected of hiring illegal workers and imposed about $50 million in financial sanctions.

Employers violate the federal immigration laws if they have actual or constructive knowledge that they are employing unauthorized workers. Constructive knowledge means that you fail to complete or improperly complete the I-9 form. Or, you have information available that indicates that an employee is unauthorized (i.e. they tell you they need to go back to Mexico to get their social security card reissued). Or, it means that you act with reckless and wanton disregard for the legal consequences of allowing someone to introduce unauthorized workers into your workforce or to act as your agent (i.e. you hire a subcontractor to do what you cannot do).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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