Consequences of Inaccurate I-9 Forms: Fines, Legal Liabilities, and Reputation Damage

The I-9 form is a critical document used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees hired in the United States. Failure to complete and maintain accurate I-9 forms can result in significant consequences for employers, including fines, legal liabilities, and damage to reputation. In this blog, we will explore the consequences of not doing the I-9 forms correctly.

Fines and Penalties

Employers who fail to complete and maintain accurate I-9 forms can face significant fines and penalties. These fines can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per violation. For example, in 2020, the Department of Justice increased the minimum penalty for I-9 violations from $230 to $234, while the maximum penalty increased from $2,292 to $2,332 per violation. These fines can quickly add up, especially for employers with many employees.

Legal Liabilities

Employers who fail to complete and maintain accurate I-9 forms may also face legal liabilities. If an employer hires an unauthorized worker, they may face civil or criminal penalties, including fines and even imprisonment. Employers may also face lawsuits from employees who were not hired or were fired due to an I-9 violation. Additionally, employers may face legal action from government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Labor.

Reputation Damage

An I-9 violation can also damage an employer’s reputation. News of I-9 violations can quickly spread, and negative publicity can harm an employer’s brand and make it difficult to attract and retain customers and employees. In addition, employers may face negative publicity from advocacy groups and labor unions, who may use an I-9 violation as an opportunity to criticize an employer’s labor practices.

Loss of Business Opportunities

Employers who have been found to have violated I-9 regulations may also lose business opportunities. Many companies require their suppliers and vendors to comply with employment laws, including I-9 regulations. Failure to comply with these laws can lead to the termination of contracts or the loss of potential business.


In conclusion, failure to complete and maintain accurate I-9 forms can have significant consequences for employers. Fines, legal liabilities, reputation damage, and loss of business opportunities are just a few of the potential consequences that can result from an I-9 violation. Therefore, it is essential for employers to take I-9 compliance seriously and to ensure that they are completing and maintaining accurate forms for all of their employees.

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