OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $15.8K to $7.4K: U.S.A. v. Metropolitan Warehouse

OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $15.8K to $7.4K: U.S.A. v. Metropolitan Warehouse

"Proportionality is essential in setting penalties, Pegasus, 10 OCAHO no. 1143 at 7.  The goal is to reach a result that is sufficiently meaningful to accomplish the purpose of deterring future violations, United States v. Jonel, Inc., 8 OCAHO no. 1008, 175, 201 (1998), without being “unduly punitive” in light of the respondent’s resources, United States v. Minaco Fashions, Inc., 3 OCAHO no. 587, 1900, 1909 (1993).  The record as a whole suggests that the proposed penalty is disproportionate in light of Metropolitan’s resources: this company employs only six people and has net losses in 2010, 2011, and 2012.  Eighty-five percent of the maximum permissible penalty is excessive in this case because fines this close to the maximum should ordinarily be reserved for more egregious violations than have been shown here.  See United States v. Fowler Equip. Co., 10 OCAHO no. 1169, 6 (2013). ... Most of the statutory factors weigh in Metropolitan’s favor: the company is small, has no history of previous violations, did not employ unauthorized workers, and did not lack good faith.  While the violations are serious, the proposed penalty is disproportionate in light of the company’s resources.  Based on the record as a whole, the penalty will be adjusted to an amount closer to the midrange of permissible penalties. ... Metropolitan Warehouse, Inc. committed seventeen violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B) and is ordered to pay a civil money penalty of $7400.  The parties are encouraged to discuss installment payments to alleviate the impact on Metropolitan’s business." - U.S.A. v. Metropolitan Warehouse, Dec. 19, 2013.