Hiring Illegal Workers Leads to Large Fines, Verify Eligibility

 

Case:  Employer May Lose 30% of Employees
 
Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a clothing maker announced plans to lay off around one-fourth of its factory workers in Los Angeles. The employer, who had mostly Hispanic immigrants, was notified by ICE that 1,600 of its reported 5,600 factory workers could be illegal immigrants. Officials said the company could face thousands of dollars in fines if it determined that illegal workers were knowingly brought on by the company. The fines could top more than $800 per person, according to government regulations.
 
 
Employers Can Quickly Verify Employees’ Work Eligibility
 
The employer could have avoided this situation if it had verified its employees’ eligibility to legally work in the United States. All employers must have all new employees complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The employer must complete the I-9 within three days of the employee beginning work for pay. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides these and other forms with instructions on its website, http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
 
 
E-Verify
 
U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary work authorization. People who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or have been admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Others may need to apply individually for employment authorization.
 
E-Verify is an internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it’s the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce. E-verify is found at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
 
E-Verify compares the information an employee provides on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against millions of government records and generally provides results in three to five seconds. If the information matches, that employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there's a mismatch, E-Verify will alert the employer. The website also has information about how employers can petition for work authorization for a potential employee. While participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most employers (though mandatory for most government contractors and subcontractors), completion of Form I-9 is required of all employers.
 
Employers can sign up for free webinars on how to use E-verify at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=413628ac1dc0c210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=413628ac1dc0c210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD#For Employers
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Former Asbestos School Owner Sentenced to Prison Time

The former owner of the country’s largest asbestos abatement training school has been sentenced to prison after having fled the United States after her trial in 2008.
 
 
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton sentenced Albania Deleon to 87 months in prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and several hundred thousand dollars to AIM Mutual Insurance Company. (WCxKit)
 
 
In 2008, Deleon was convicted of charges including selling training certificates to thousands of illegal aliens who had not taken the mandatory course. She allegedly placed these unqualified people in temporary positions as certified asbestos abatement workers in public buildings.
 
 
From approximately 2001 to 2006, Deleon owned and operated Environmental Compliance Training (ECT), a certified asbestos training school located in Methuen, Mass. ECT normally offered training courses on a weekly basis at its Methuen offices, however, many of the recipients of the certificates never took the required course.
 
 
Instead, with Deleon’s knowledge and approval, ECT’s office employees issued certificates of course completion to thousands of individuals who did not take the course. These individuals filed the certificates with the Massachusetts Division of Occupational Safety in order to be authorized to work in the asbestos removal industry. Many of the recipients were illegal aliens who wished to skip the four-daylong course so that they would not forego a week’s pay.
 
 
Since ECT’s training course records were subject to inspection, Deleon sought to cover up ECT’s practice of issuing certificates to untrained applicants by having the applicants sign final examination answer sheets that already had been completed and graded, which she maintained in ECT’s files. Based on the evidence at trial and information supplied by the Division of Occupation Safety, ECT issued training certificates to more than 2,000 untrained individuals.
 
 
Deleon is the fifth environmental criminal captured since the EPA fugitive website was launched in December 2008. (WCxKit)
 
 
Today’s sentence marks the final chapter in bringing Albania Deleon to justice,” said EPA’s Cynthia Giles. “Committing environmental crimes to make a profit that put workers and our communities at risk [carries] serious consequences.”
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
 

WORKERS COMP GUIDEBOOK:  www.WCManual.com
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact

Far Fewer Illegal Mexicans Making it Across the Border

 
Legal migration has increased in the past five years, thanks in large part to better management of the visa process by American consulates in Mexico, says Peter Rousmaniere, columnist for Risk & Insurance, and an expert in workers compensation. But, he writes, illegal migration has declined, and not primarily due to stronger immigration enforcement by the United States. The major factors are smaller families, better education resources in Mexico, and better job projects in Mexico if one is educated.
 
 
Rousmaniere runs a blog called Working Immigrants that collects and exchanges information on the business of immigrant work: employment, compensation, legal protections, education, and mobility. A Harvard College and Harvard Business School graduate, he brings 20 years’ experience in worker safety and health to this effort.
 
 
He was drawn to a July 6 New York Times article by Damien Cave titled Better Lives for Mexicans Cut Allure of Going North — Economic, demographic and social changes in Mexico are suppressing illegal immigration as much as the poor economy or legal crackdowns in the United States.
 
 
Specifically, Rousmaniere was inspired by this quote from Douglas S. Massey: “No one wants to hear it, but the flow has already stopped. … For the first time in 60 years, the net traffic has gone to zero and is probably a little bit negative.” Massey is co-director of the Mexican Migration Project at Princeton, an extensive, long-term survey in Mexican emigration hubs. He said his research showed interest in heading to the United States for the first time had fallen to its lowest level since at least the 1950s, according to the Times article.
 
 
Cave writes in his article, “American census figures analyzed by the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center also show that the illegal Mexican population in the United States has shrunk and that fewer than 100,000 illegal border-crossers and visa-violators from Mexico settled in the United States in 2010, down from about 525,000 annually from 2000 to 2004.”
 
 
Cave goes on to report, “Deportations have reached record highs as total border apprehensions and apprehensions of Mexicans have fallen by more than 70 percent since 2000.”
 
 
Cave also sites use of birth control (smaller families), better education and employment opportunities, and better government services such as trash pick up as motivations for staying in Mexico. These reasons, coupled with an easing of legal immigration requirements and an increase in laws making living in the U.S. illegally much more difficult, are reasons for the decline in illegal immigration, Cave reports.

Author Rebecca Shafer
, JD, President of Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing, publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Michigan Dairy Farm Penalized $2.7 Million for Hiring Illegal Aliens

A Michigan dairy farm and its two owners recently plead guilty to charges of employing illegal aliens, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
 
 
ICE reported Johannes Martinus Verhaar and Anthonia Marjanne Verhaar own Aquila Farms LLC., a dairy operation based in Bad Axe, Mich.
 
 
Court records revealed from about 2000 through 2007, the dairy employed 78 different illegal aliens, which constituted almost 75 percent of its workforce. Aquila Farms failed to conduct the necessary inquiries to determine the employment eligibility of its workforce, as required by federal immigration laws.(WCxKit)
 
 
"Criminal charges and fines are among the government's most effective tools to ensure employers maintain a legal workforce," said Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Detroit. "The charges and significant fines here represent HSI's firm commitment to holding employers accountable."
 
 
According to the investigation, of the 78 illegal aliens hired by the Verhaars, some were hired on multiple occasions using different names or social security numbers despite the Verhaars' being notified by both the Social Security Administration and ICE that its employees were not authorized to work in the United States. The defendants encouraged or induced the illegal aliens to reside in the United States by providing them with employment and free housing on the farm, away from scrutiny by ICE and the surrounding community.
 
 
As part of the agreement reached with the government, the Verhaars pleaded guilty to hiring illegal aliens, a charge that carries a term of imprisonment of up to six months and a $3,000 fine per hire. Aquila Farms plead guilty to harboring illegal aliens, a felony which carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and additional fines.(WCxKit)
 
 
The Verhaars and Aquila Farms agreed to pay fines and a payment in lieu of forfeiture totaling $2,734,000.
 
 
Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 
Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
 
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Montana Approves Bill to Ban Illegal Immigrants from Workers Comp Benefits

Montana’s House of Representatives has given the go-ahead to legislation that would ban illegal immigrants from receiving workers compensation benefits.
According to BusinessInsurance.com, in a 69-31 vote Jan. 19, the Montana House approved H.B. 71, sponsored by Rep. Gordon Vance, R-Bozeman, and passed the bill on to the state Senate. (WCxKit)
Supporters of the legislation indicated it will assist in reducing workers comp rates, but Democratic opponents counter it could encourage unscrupulous employers to hire illegal immigrants because they would not have to acquire workers comp coverage for them.
According to the Associated Press, the Montana State Fund reported to legislative staff that in 2010, it could only locate eight claims out of more than 8,000 that had a suspicious Social Security number that may indicate an illegal immigrant.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information.  Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

 

WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com

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