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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

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  1. Columbine Management Settles National Origin Lawsuit for $335,000

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC

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    Columbine Management Services Inc. has agreed to pay $335,000 to settle allegations by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that it fired care providers because they were from Ethiopia or Sudan.

    Columbine Management also agreed to change the employees’ terminations to resignations, provide them with neutral references, and administer Title VII training (related to non-discrimination based on national origin and other protected classes) to supervisory and managerial employees for a two-year decree.

    The suit, which the EEOC initiated in July 2015, alleged a director for Columbine’s New Mercer Commons facility told a staff member that the facility should get rid of “these people because they just can’t speak English.” This statement was about employees from Ethiopia or Sudan.

    This case was handled by the EEOC because Columbine Management had 15 or more employees. If an employer has between 4 and 14 employees, the Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) Section of the Department of Justice has jurisdiction over the national origin discrimination claim.

    This settlement is another example of how employers need to provide training to their supervisory and managerial staff on avoidance of national origin discrimination as well as other types of discrimination. For more information on avoiding national origin discrimination and unfair documentary practices related to employer immigration compliance, I invite you to read my new book, The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, which is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.
  2. Citizenship Status & National Origin Discrimination Claims Fail

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    In Caltzoncin v. GSM Insurors-Glass, Sorenson & McDavid, 12 OCAHO no. 1287 (2016), the Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) reiterated the longstanding requirement to prove citizenship status – one must be a citizen or national of the United States, permanent resident, refugee, or asylee in order to be a protected individual.

    In this case, Mr. Caltzoncin filed a complaint against his employer alleging he was fired on the basis of his citizenship status and national origin discrimination. In Mr. Caltzoncin’s complaint, he conceded that he only had an employment authorization document (EAD) and was not a citizen, permanent resident, asylee or refugee. Under 8 U.S.C. § 13246(a)(3), an individual with an EAD is not protected by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). Thus, OCAHO dismissed Mr. Caltzoncin’s complaint.

    Concerning the national origin claim, Mr. Caltzoncin conceded that his former employer employed 15 or more employees. Again, under the law, concerning a national origin claim, an employer with 15 or more employees is not covered by IRCA; rather, the employer is covered by Title VII. Thus, Mr. Caltzoncin’s claim should have been directed to the EEOC, not the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration – Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC). Thus, OCAHO also dismissed this claim.
  3. Chicago Settles National Origin Discrimination Lawsuit for $3.1 Million

    By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

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    A Chicago City Council committee agreed, on February 8, 2016, on a$3.1 million settlement for discrimination in Police Department hiring. The payment would settle a federal suit filed only last week by the U.S. Department of Justice, but dating back to Police Department hiring 10 years ago under Mayor Richard M. Daley.

    At the time, the city had a requirement that all applicants must have resided in the United States the previous 10 years. According to Jane Elinor Notz, first assistant corporation counsel, 47 applicants were disqualified on that specification. Yet federal law prohibits banning employment based on national origin, and an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Immigration and Nationality Act only covers national origin discrimination for between four and 14 employees) investigation determined there was discrimination.”

    The settlement will pay for eight of the disqualified applicants to be hired with retroactive retirement benefits and back pay, and with $10,000 going to each of the other 47 applicants denied employment on the old restriction.
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    Alderman Edward Burke asked the City to determine whether the city could impose a citizenship requirement. As has been seen in a recent Office of Special Council settlement with the City of Eugene, the answer is no.
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