The dust hasn’t even settled on this year’s Triple Crown races yet, but stable owners are grabbing headlines for something other than their horses. In the past year, three stables have settled, and have paid large fines, for failing to file proper I-9 documents for their employees.
The racing industry is a transient one. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents seem to be all too aware that this is an industry to watch. Most recently they had their eye on Kenneth McPeek Racing Stables, Romans Racing Stables and Mott Thoroughbred Stables, all of which were accused of I-9 compliance failures.
The most recent case settled in May. Kenneth McPeek Racing Stables was cited for 99 violations which included failure to prepare forms in a timely manner, failure to provide forms requested by the government, and failing to properly complete the forms that were presented. The government wanted $64,795.50 in fines, but that was reduced to $35,900 because of the company’s small size and the fact that they didn’t have any previous violations.
Romans Racing Stables faced $150,535 in fines for failing to prepare forms for more than 160 employees. Even though ICE agents reported this as a very serious example with a “substantial number” of unauthorized workers on the site, the Office of the Chief Administration Hearing Officer (OCAHO) reduced the penalty to $76,100. The OCAHO cut the fine for Mott Thoroughbred Stables in half as well.
We are sure the owners of these stables are thankful for the reduction in the penalties, but even paying 50 percent of these fines can break the bank. With today’s technology like electronic I-9 forms and E-Verify, there is no excuse for employers of any size to fall into this trap. Please review your company’s policy and make sure your records are in order. If you need help- just ask. There are products available now that not only make the process for new hires easier, but can also take all those paper I-9s you’ve been storing for years and convert them to organized, digital files. The time to think about this is before ICE agents knock at your door.
Employment Background Investigations is a technology driven leader in domestic and global pre-employment background checks, drug testing, occupational health screening and I-9 compliance. We specialize in development, implementation and management of customized employment screening programs for large and multi-national clients. We are dedicated to information security. EBI is the only NAPBS Accredited background screening company in the world to hold both an ISO 27001:2005 certification for information security and an ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management.
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