According to a report in the Contra Costa (CA) Times, an internal I-9 compliance probe at a downtown Walnut Creek, California Target store led to 50 immigrant workers leaving their jobs. Target sent a team to investigate the store after an allegation that illegal immigrants worked on the night shift attracted the attention of the corporate headquarters of the 1,700-store chain, the Contra Costa Times reported.

Target said its probe was an I-9 compliance check, the Contra Costa Times reported, and not a layoff. The term “I-9 compliance” refers to the Employment Eligibility Verifications form – also known as the I-9 form – that all employees must fill out when they are hired to verify their ability to work in the United States, and workers must show documents such as Social Security cards to prove they are eligible to work when completing the I-9 form.

The Contra Costa Times reported that some workers at the Target store were questioned in November about their eligibility to work in the United States, prompting most of them to voluntarily resign. In addition, a shift in federal policy may be behind Target’s move as the government is cracking down on employers who hire illegal workers by inspecting their work records – including I-9 compliance – and threatening them with fines, according to the Contra Costa Times.

Some observers see Target’s actions as a sign that more employers will take illegal immigration and I-9 forms more seriously. To avoid government audits and I-9 compliance checks, employers need to ensure that their I-9 forms are in proper order. A designated E-Verify service agent, — a web-based I-9 Form/E-Verify solution from nationally recognized employment screening provider — is pre-integrated with the DHS’ E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system and helps employers ensure I-9 compliance, eliminate errors, and avoid government audits.

For more information about maintaining I-9 compliance, view a complimentary on demand webinar “E-Verify & Federal Contractors: Know The Facts,” visit, email, or call 1-800-300-1821.