OCAHO Reduces I-9 Fine from $82K to $15K: USA v. Siwan & Sons, Inc.
"As explained in United States v. Pegasus Restaurant, Inc., 10 OCAHO no. 1143, 7 (2012), proportionality is critical to setting penalties. The amount should be 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). A final persuasive factor in favor of leniency to this small employer is the legislative policy preference expressed in the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, § 223(a), Pub. L. No. 104-121 (codified at 5 U.S.C. § 601 note (2006)), that calls generally for reducing civil penalty assessments on small entities. Cf. Balice v. USDA, 203 F.3d 684, 691 n.5 (9th Cir. 2000). Penalties will accordingly be adjusted as a matter of discretion to an amount nearer the lower end of the penalty range