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  1. 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.
  2. 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.

    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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