United States Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made national news on June 17th. Nine owners and managers of 7-Eleven stores across Long Island and in Virginia were charged with making tens of millions of dollars by exploiting immigrants, in part by paying them using the stolen Social Security numbers of a child and three deceased people while unlawfully appropriating most of their wages.
ICE agents executed search warrants at more than 40 other stores suspected of similar infractions across the United States.
Is this a cause for concern? Yes. This case reflects stepped-up enforcement against employers using fraudulent documentation for immigrant workers. Over the past two years, federal authorities have brought similar charges against more than 500 business-owners and managers.
As James Hayes, head of ICE’s New York Office, said on June 17th, “There’s real teeth to these laws, and we’re using them now more than ever before.”
Every company should be reviewing:
If their employees are correctly classified
If overtime is being correctly paid
If I-9s are properly completed for all of their employees
Call PMP to discuss your company’s compliance with workplace laws and regulations.