Administrative law judge orders the California company Solutions Group International LLC to pay $56,150 for not properly filling out employment verification forms for 84 of its employees.


Administrative law judge Thomas P. McCarthy ordered Solutions Group International LLC ("Solutions") to pay a penalty of $56,150 after finding that the Beverly Hills company did not properly complete I-9 forms for 84 of its employees. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") originally proposed that Solutions should receive an $87,422 fine; however, Judge McCarthy lowered the fine amount to $56,150 stating, "respondent is a small business, it is appropriate to mitigate the penalty assessment based on the public policy of leniency toward small businesses".

Solutions did not contest the I-9 violations, but stated it performed "thorough" background checks on its employees and that all of its employees were eligible to work in the U.S. ICE noted that no unauthorized workers were found to be employed by Solutions; however, the employment of unauthorized workers is only taken into consideration when determining the size of the penalties-not in determining whether an I-9 violation exists at all. The I-9 regulations state, "When an employer fails to properly prepare, retain, or produce Forms I-9 upon request, civil money penalties are assessed". ICE may then take the following factors into consideration when determining the penalty amount:

(1) the size of the employer's business;
(2) the employer's good faith;
(3) the seriousness of the violations;
(4) whether the employee is an unauthorized alien; and
(5) the employer's history of previous violations.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the I-9 process or regulations.