SAN ANTONIO BAKERY FINED 15K FOR 32 SUBSTANATIVE VIOLATIONS

Horno MSJ Ltd. Co. is a bakery in San Antonio, Texas which opened in March 2006. It is jointly owned by an elderly married couple. ICE served Horno with a Notice of Inspection (NOI) and subpoena on July 31, 2012. The inspection of the I-9s was scheduled for several days later. Horno presented 26 original I-9s and various other documents. After the inspection ICE served Horno with a Notice of Suspect Documents (NSD) and a Notice of Discrepancies in September 2012. A Notice of Intent to Fine (NOF) was served on March 5, 2013. ICE found that Horno failed to present nine Form I-9s and that the 26 I-9s presented were deficient. ICE fined Horno over 31K for the 32 violations. Horno argued that it was not required to present the nine Form I-9s since those individuals never showed up for work. However, the Administrative Law Judge found Horno was indeed liable since they paid these nine individuals to attend orientation, thus they were Horno’s employees and as such, Horno was required to have each individual complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 since the regulations require that it be completed on the first day of hire. Based on their size, the nature of the violations and the current status of the business, the ALJ ultimately lowered the fine to $14,600. The moral of this story is that if as an employer, you must make sure that you begin the Form I-9 process, especially if you pay applicants to attend orientation and/or training and make sure on that first day that they complete Section 1.

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