I-9 Update for Production Crews: Penalties Increased by the DHS
The Department of Homeland Security has increased the penalty for employers – including production companies – who overlook proper legal I-9 requirements for their crew members.
It is the responsibility of the production to ensure I-9s are completed correctly before submitting to the government. In an effort to deter the employment of crew members who are undocumented, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reviews and enforces strict compliance.
On October 18, to keep pace with inflation and in keeping with its mandate, the DHS increased fines from a range of $234-$2,332 to a range of $237-$2,360. The new rates went into effect on November 2.
Furthermore, penalties have increased for willfully hiring any undocumented production crew members or other employees. The first offense is now $590-$4,722; second offense is $4,722-$11,803; and $7,082-$23,607 for offenses thereafter.
For you, this means it’s best to only hire documented crew for your production and complete I-9s properly to avoid hefty fines that are charged on a per I-9 basis. If ICE determines there is a violation, your production has ten days to make the corrections and resubmit to avoid fines.
If you cannot make the corrections in time, ICE calculates a rate of error by adding up “substantive” violations and dividing that number by the number of error-free I-9s you submitted. A graduated fine scale is then used in tandem with the rate of error to determine your fine.
Avoid those fines on production! Carefully review I-9s before submitting them and be sure to make corrections to historical documents as soon as you can, otherwise it can cost you.
TiM Digital Onboarding takes the brunt of the work off your hands. With crew compliance built in, you can rest assured your production is in good standing with government regulation.
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