Following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), 12 Connecticut companies face fines totaling $132,582.25, it was announced this morning by the federal agency.
The inspection of the employers' Form I-9 documents is part of HSI's worksite enforcement strategy that launched in 2009 to reduce the demand for illegal employment and protect employment opportunities for the nation's lawful workforce. This strategy focuses agency resources on the investigation and audit of employers suspected of cultivating illegal workplaces by hiring workers who are not authorized to work.
Kingswood Kitchens Company Inc. of Danbury was fined $12,000. Additional fines in Connecticut included:
- Acranom Masonry Inc. of Middlefield was fined $4,500;
- Calabro Cheese Corp. of East Haven was fined $45,000;
- Gourmet Heaven Inc. of New Haven was fined $5,891;
- John J. Masi Company Inc. of Bridgeport was fined $3,276;
- Kingswood Kitchens Company Inc. of Danbury was fined $12,000;
- Leed-Himmel Industries Inc. of Hamden was fined $2,241.25;
- Melissa & Doug LLC of Wilton was fined $1,386;
- Prostar Inc. of Farmington was fined $10,472;
- Quality Sales LLC of Hartford was fined $2,722;
- Superior Plastics Extrusion Company Inc., aka Impact Plastics, of Putnam was fined $34,000;
- Villa Brava Grocery LLC of Hartford was fined $2,992.
- Contour Landscaping Company, Inc., Stamford, was fined $8,104.
"These settlements serve as a reminder to employers that HSI will continue to hold them accountable for hiring and maintaining a legal and compliant workforce," said Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. Foucart oversees HSI throughout New England. "We encourage employers to take the employment verification process seriously, as we expand the number of audits we are conducting throughout Connecticut each year. My agency will continue to focus its attention on employers that are knowingly employing illegal workers and will continue to target specific industries and businesses known or alleged to hire illegals."
During 2012, HSI conducted 18 inspections of employers' I-9 documents in Connecticut, an increase over the 14 inspections conducted in 2011, seven in 2010 and one in 2009. In 2011, HSI issued only one fine to a Connecticut company. PCC Technology Group of Bloomfield was fined $15,000.