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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 116711
Experience:  20+ Years of Employment Law Experience
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We had a fire at our shop and now have a department of labor

Customer Question

We had a fire at our shop and now have a department of labor audit and I do not have a w-4, I-9 or WC2 for 3 of our terminated employees that can not be located or they choose to not respond to refile. What are the consequences from my auditor
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you had a fire, were these documents destroyed in the fire?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they were. We told her that but she still says she is requiring them
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What's the fine or penalty becuz the stress and aggravation is not worth it. I cannot locate a terminated employee or if I have they refuse. There are 4 out of 40
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

She cannot make you have documents reappear that were burned in the fire. If she does insist on charging you with violations or penalties for documents lost in the fire, then this is grounds to file for an appeal and seek a hearing by the board because you cannot recreate documents. The penalties depend on their wages and are determined by the DOL. You need to submit a written statement to her that the documents were destroyed by fire and also attach a copy of the fire report to your statement. If she insists on finding violations, you would file an appeal and go to a hearing before the administrative hearing officer for them to waive any penalties, as the director can waive any of these penalties for not having the documents based on them being destroyed through no fault of your own.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if I choose not to appeal and just say I don't have those doc What's the worst case ....
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The worst part depends on specifically what violations they cite you for, but it could be up to $10,000 per violation on some violations like not maintaining an I-9. It all depends and without knowing exactly what she is going to cite you for or how much in earnings are involved even she has to turn in the report to the office to get them to determine fines and penalties.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They were part time seasonal help. They worked less than a year. Two of them only months. They were able to get a pay check because I sent in their information SS# *****# ***** to payroll services. Does the employee have any fault or penalty for refusing to fill them out?

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

The fines could be as low as $250 per violation but they can go up to $10,000 per violation, it is up to the Department to decide upon getting her report. So you will have time to make the decision based on what they say the fine is.

The employee does not have any fault, as they put all the responsibility on the employer. The employer should terminate an employee who does not fill out documents the employer requires and actually, that is good cause for termination so they could not even claim unemployment benefits.

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