The Stein Eriksen Lodge in Park City, Utah lost about 10 percent of its 580 member workforce after a federal audit found these employees were ineligible to work in the United States.
"The audit, conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, was random and the luxury hotel was given three days’ notice before the action. The audit was completed April 3," hotel spokeswoman Sara Myers told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Myers said the five- star hotel, recently took the step to begin using the federal government’s electronic verification program, E-Verify. She said any of the workers who were let go through the "voluntary separation" would have to go through the verification system to retain their jobs.
She said only "a handful" came back with proper documentation and were allowed to continue working after passing through E-Verify. She said all future hires will have to pass E-Verify.
Utah law requires employers with 15 or more employees to participate in E-Verify — a measure signed by Gov. Gary Herbert two years ago. But the law has no penalties for non-compliance. Earlier in the year state Rep. Stephan Sandstrom introduced a bill calling for tougher E-Verify laws, but it died in the Legislature.
ICE Spokeswoman Virginia Kice said, "The goal of these audits is to ensure employers are following the law."
Under ICE audit rules, a business has 10 days to come into compliance with the findings. Penalties can range between $375 per violation to $16,000 per violation- with the steeper fines coming from repeat offenders.
Myers said the hotel was not fined by ICE.
"We are in compliance," she said.
The Stein Eriksen Lodge is the fifth-largest employer in Park City and has more than 580 employees.
Read the full story in The Salt Lake Tribune.
Updated: Thu, Jun 15th 2017 @ 4:18pm EDT