News & Analysis as of

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer

You Mean It’s Un-American to Hire Only Americans? DOJ Issues Final Rule on Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices

If you thought it would be safer to require every new hire to be an American citizen—think again. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a new rule revising its prior regulations on Section 274B of the Immigration and...more

Fifth Circuit Overturns $226,000 Fine Imposed on a Staffing Company for Completing Section 2 of Form I-9 Remotely

by Littler on

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) takes the position that employers must physically review original documents in the actual presence of a new hire when completing the attestation in Section 2 of the Form I-9 (the...more

Are Independent Contractors Always Exempt From I-9 Requirements?

Employers rarely question the general rule that independent contractors are not required to complete a form I-9. Most employers believe that, if an individual is labeled as an independent contractor, a form I-9 is not...more

August 2015 Immigration Alert

by Epstein Becker & Green on

I. USCIS Issues Guidance on When an Amended H-1B Petition Is Required After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC - On July 21, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a policy memorandum...more

Check Up or Pay Up: I-9 Compliance Fines Hit CA Company

On July 8, 2015, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), issued a decision finding Hartmann Studios, Inc. “liable for 808 violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B)”, namely hiring workers in the United...more

OCAHO Imposes $605,250 Fine for I-9 Violations

On July 8, 2015, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), the administrative court with jurisdiction to review penalties for I-9 violations, issued a decision in the matter of United States v. Hartmann...more

Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer Rejects DACA Recipient’s Document Discrimination Claim

by Littler on

The U.S. Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) recently published Gonzalez-Hernandez v. Arizona Family Health Partnership, an interesting decision that illustrates the conflict between state laws and the...more

Events Planning Company Fined over $600,000 for Serious I-9 Paperwork Violations

by FordHarrison on

On July 8, 2015, an administrative law judge (ALJ) ordered Hartmann Studios to pay a fine of over $600,000 for more than 800 I-9 paperwork violations, the largest fine awarded by an ALJ for paperwork violations to date. In...more

Severe Fines for I-9 Noncompliance

by Carlton Fields on

During the first quarter of 2015, The Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) issued five decisions involving employer violations related to Form I-9. In its latest decision (United States v. Liberty Packaging,...more

OCAHO Finds PEO Liable for Near Maximum I-9 Fines for False Employer Attestation Violations: Is Your Business Similarly Exposed?

by FordHarrison on

On January 20, 2015, Judge Ellen Thomas, a federal administrative law judge (ALJ) with the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), a division of the Executive Office of Immigration Review within the U.S....more

Do I Need a Lawyer to Assist My Company with an I-9 Audit by ICE?

A couple of recent decisions by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearings Officer (OCAHO) demonstrate the importance of timely retaining experienced counsel to represent you and assist you with government I-9 audits....more

New Administrative Law Judge Joins OCAHO

On December 5, 2014, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) announced the appointment of Stacy Stiffel Paddack as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer...more

CAHO Upholds Fine of $329,895 for 300 I-9 Forms

If you have already undergone one I-9 audit by ICE, you may think your business is now safe and off of the government’s radar. You would be wrong. As reaffirmed in a recent decision by the Office of the Chief Administrative...more

OCAHO Significantly Reduces Fine After Finding No Unauthorized Employees

On June 30, 2014, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), which is responsible for review of penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations,...more

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $90K to $25K

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) has jurisdiction to review penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations. In calculating the amount of the...more

Immigration Corner: E-Verify Not an Impenetrable Shield, H-4 Spouses May Soon be Looking for Work, More Trips to the Doctor for...

by Baker Donelson on

E-Verify offers a tool to assist employers in verifying employment/immigration status for prospective employees, but it should not be mistaken for protection during an I-9 audit. On March 26, 2014, the Office of the Chief...more

OCAHO Finds E-Verify Participation Does Not Provide Blanket Protection

E-Verify is the internet based system through which employers can verify the work eligibility of new hires. Upon hiring a new employee, the employer checks the employee’s information against Department of Homeland Security...more

OCAHO Fines Construction Company $228,000 for I-9 Violations

A recent assessment by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) resulted in a fine of $228,000 against M&D Masonry, a Georgia construction contractor, for I-9 violations. Immigration and Customs...more

Immigration Alert: April 2014

by Epstein Becker & Green on

I. USCIS Reaches Fiscal Year 2015 H-1B Cap - As most H-1B employers know, there is an annual quota on the number of new H-1B petitions that can be approved each federal fiscal year. The quota is 65,000 for regular H-1B...more

Immigration Alert: January 2014

by Epstein Becker & Green on

I. H-1B Nonimmigrant Season Opens on April 1, 2014, for Fiscal Year 2015 - As most H-1B employers know, there is an annual quota on the number of new H-1B petitions that can be approved each federal fiscal year. The...more

OCAHO Holds That Backdating Alone Is Not Evidence of a Lack of Good Faith

The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) has jurisdiction to review penalties imposed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for I-9 compliance violations. In calculating the amount of...more

Recent OCAHO Decision Reminds Employers To Complete Accurate And Timely I-9 Forms

As immigration reform measures proceed through Congress, it is critical that employers are prepared for strict worksite enforcement of I-9 requirements to prevent costly auditing and penalties for paperwork violations or the...more

Employers Fined for Immigration Violations

In a recent decision of the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO), Anodizing Industries, Inc., a metal-finishing factory in Los Angeles, California was fined $15,600 for failure to timely prepare I-9...more

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $80,000 To $30,000

In U.S. v A&J Kyoto Japanese Restaurants, Inc., the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) lowered penalties as they should be “sufficiently meaningful to accomplish the purpose of deterring future...more

OCAHO reduces I-9 fine from $82,280 to $15,800

In USA v. Siwan & Sons, Inc. (May 3, 2013) the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (“OCAHO”) decided to reduces fines imposed by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agency on a rather small employer...more

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