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By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser, PC
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached a settlement with Louisiana Crane & Construction LLC (Louisiana Crane), a company headquartered in Eunice, Louisiana that provides services to oilfields. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed on August 29, 2014, by OSC.
The lawsuit alleged from at least January 1, 2013, until at least September 1, 2013, Louisiana Crane required workers who are not U.S. citizens to produce documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security as a condition of employment, but it did not make similar demands of U.S. citizens. The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on workers during the employment eligibility verification process based on the worker’s citizenship status.
Under the settlement agreement, Louisiana Crane will pay $165,000 in civil penalties to the United States; establish a $50,000 back pay fund to compensate workers who lost wages because of the company’s practices, revise any unlawful employment policies, have its HR Personnel trained on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and undergo monitoring for two years, whereby Louisiana Crane must provide new I-9 forms and related documents to OSC. Concerning the back pay fund, individuals, who were authorized to work in the United States but were denied a job at Louisiana Crane, whose hire date was delayed by Louisiana Crane or were fired by Louisiana Crane between 2011 and 2015 because they could not show the documents the company requested to prove their work authorization, may file a claim within 60 days of receiving notification of a possible back pay claim.
As this settlement demonstrates, OSC continues to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars to resolve immigration discrimination claims.