April 18, 2013

In November 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act created "Form I-9" for employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. Through the years, many changes have been made not only to the verification process, but to the form itself. However, when the issue of immigration reform became a hotbed for legal activity in both federal and state governments, the significance of the I-9 increased dramatically. Beginning in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through its Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), increased audits of employers’ I-9 records for compliance determinations. In 2009, ICE performed 52 audits resulting in fines of $1,033,291 and 444 individuals arrested on criminal charges. By 2011, those numbers had increased to 385 audits and $10,463,988 in fines and 713 arrests. Although exact figures for 2012 have not been released, ICE has acknowledged the fines for 2012 exceeded $10,000,000, Now, more than ever, I-9 rules and requ...

April 10, 2013

Important news from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services:

Federal law requires that every employer complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9 will help you verify your employee’s identity and employment authorization. If you are an Alabama employer, the information provided on Form I-9 is used to comply with the E-Verify requirement that went into effect in April of 2012.

On March 8, 2013, a new version of the Form I-9 (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf) was released. Beginning May 7, 2013, employers must only use the new Form I-9.

If you are an employer and have questions regarding the new I-9 or E-Verify, please contact us to schedule an appointment at (205) 453-9800. We offer I-9 audits as well as assistance with continued compliance.

April 3, 2013

The Firm successfully defended five Alabama police officers accused of excessive force in a lawsuit filed in federal court. The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by three plaintiffs asserting more than 15 different claims (e.g., unlawful arrest, excessive force, conspiracy, assault and battery, and failure to properly train and supervise) against the police officers, the city which employs them, and its chief of police. Following extensive discovery, the Firm moved for and received a full summary judgment on all claims by two of the plaintiffs. Summary judgment was also granted on all claims by the third plaintiff except for his excessive force claim against the police officers for alleged actions taken after he was handcuffed. The case proceeded to trial in March 2013 with more than 20 witnesses expected to testify. However, following jury selection, the lone remaining plaintiff offered a settlement on terms favorable to the police officers, which was accepted. The court then dismissed the ca...

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