Following an investigation and audit of Form I-9 documents by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 17 Massachusetts employers were fined a total of $349,619.54 in fiscal year 2012 for employment violations. The inspection of the employers' documents is part of HSI's worksite enforcement strategy that launched in 2009 to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce.
Fines in Massachusetts in FY 2012 of over $1500 include:
Northern Pelagic Group LLC (NORPEL) - $151,200;
Amex Inc. - $70,000;
Samar Company Inc. - $33,786.22;
Quality Workforce Inc. of - $26,881.25;
Metropolitan Linen Services Corp. - $13,635.19;
Bread & Company Inc. of - $9,804;
Cap Seafood Inc. - $9,804;
Leechen Restaurant Inc. - $9,441.63;
Ocean Crest Seafoods - $9,000;
Panda House Inc. - $4,675;
Jae's Spice - $3,000;
Fruitlands Restaurant, Inc., aka Sorrento's Pizza - $2,805; and
Pier Fish Company Inc. - $2,200;
During FY 2012, HSI conducted 35 inspections of employers' I-9 documents in Massachusetts. In
previous years, the HSI fines and inspections in Massachusetts were: FY 2011: 30 inspections and $175,420.25 in fines for worksite violations against 11 companies; FY 2010: 20 inspections and $67,440 fines for worksite violations against three companies; and FY 2009: 17 inspections and $9,753 fines for worksite violations against one company.
These statistics are just more evidence of the active role that ICE is playing in investigating I-9 violations.
Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the at Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C. He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on immigration compliance for employers, and employment/labor law. Mr. Buchanan received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1982 and a B.S. degree from Florida State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Mr. Buchanan has been in private practice since 2003. Beforehand, he served as Senior Trial Specialist for the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years. He also served from 1991 to 2003 as Adjunct Professor at William H. Bowen UALR School of Law, where he taught courses in Labor Law and Employment Law. Mr. Buchanan was chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Law Section from 2011 to 2012 and has been the editor of the TBA's Immigration Law Section Newsletter and the TBA's Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter since 2009. Mr. Buchanan is a frequent writer and speaker on immigration compliance as well as labor law, wage & hour law and proposed federal legislation. He is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as the Advocacy Liaison of the Mid-South Chapter of AILA. Mr. Buchanan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) and is an associate member of the Mid-Tennessee Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. Mr. Buchanan is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.