Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Under 8 C.F.R. § 274a.2(b)(ii), employers are required to examine an employee's documentation and complete Form I-9 within three business days of the hire.
Collins Foods International extended a job offer to Armando Rodriguez, by telephone. When Rodriguez reported for work, Collins Foods accepted as documentation of authorization to work a driver's license and a forged document appearing to be a Social Security card. The Immigration and Naturalization Service charged Collins Foods with hiring an alien, knowing that he was unauthorized to work, in violation of 8 U.S.C.S § 1324a(a)(1)(A). The administrative law judge decided that Collins Foods had constructive knowledge that Rodriguez was an illegal alien based on the facts that Collins Foods offered Rodriguez the job without having seen his documentation and that Collins Foods did not compare the Social Security card to examples provided in the INS manual.
Were Collins Foods’ failure to verify Rodriguez’ documentation before hiring and its failure to compare the back of Rodriguez’ forged Social Security card with the examples in the INS manual, sufficient to charge Collins Foods with constructive knowledge of Rodriguez’ unauthorized status?
The court held that the regulations defined "hiring" as the time when an employee began work for wages and that Collins Foods was not required to examine the documents before that time. Furthermore, the statute provided that documentation need only reasonably appear to be valid to meet the verification requirement. The court reversed, holding that as matter of law Collins Foods did not have constructive knowledge of the employee's status.