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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

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  1. OSC Settles Dual Citizenship Discrimination Claim

    By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) reached a settlement with The Data Entry Company Inc. (TDEC), a government subcontractor located in Bethesda, Maryland. This case is unique because it involved a claim of discrimination based on dual citizenship.

    The OSC’s investigation found that on two occasions TDEC removed a U.S. citizen from its pool of applicants because she was a dual citizen, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, employers may not discriminate in hiring on the basis of citizenship status unless required by law, regulation, executive order or government contract.

    Under the settlement agreement, TDEC will pay $7,007.75 in back pay to the charging party and a $750 civil penalty to the United States. For the next two years, the company must also send all current human resources personnel and all new human resources personnel to attend a compliance training webinar presented by the OSC.

    TDEC further agreed not to remove dual citizen applicants from consideration for jobs that are open to other U.S. Citizens and for which a basic security clearance or higher level security clearance is required on the basis of their dual citizenship. This requirement will not apply if an applicable government contract prohibits employment of a dual U.S. Citizen, or if the company has received written notification from the government directly or indirectly stating that candidates with dual citizenship are not acceptable.

    A copy of The Data Entry Company Inc. settlement agreement can be viewed here.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Buchanan is an attorney with the law firm of Siskind Susser P.C. - www.visalaw.com - a full service U.S. immigration law firm representing employers and individuals nationwide for over 20 years. You can also follow Bruce on social media via Facebook and on Twitter @BuchananVisaLaw .
  2. OSC and Hilton Hotels Settle Immigration Discrimination Case

    By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached a settlement with Hilton Worldwide (Hilton) to resolve allegations that Hilton discriminated against a foreign-born worker.

    The settlement comes after an investigation into a complaint that was called-in to the OSC Worker Hotline. OSC’s investigation found reasonable cause to believe that Hilton engaged in citizenship status discrimination - “document abuse”, during the employment eligibility verification process in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Specifically, the department found that a Hilton-owned hotel in Naples, Florida, discriminated against an asylee by improperly rejecting his Social Security card when the hotel reverified his employment authorization.

    The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from rejecting an employee’s work-authorization documents because of the employee’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin. The INA also prohibits employers from specifying documents that employees must present during the employment eligibility verification process, and employers cannot reject documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the worker.

    Under the settlement agreement, Hilton will pay $550 in civil penalties to the United States; pay $12,600 in back pay to the worker who brought the complaint; revise its employment eligibility verification policies; undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for two years in its owned or managed Florida Hotels.

    This settlement demonstrates that employers, large and small, can benefit from incorporating INA anti-discrimination provisions into a company I-9 Compliance policy, and from conducting immigration compliance training.

    A copy of the Hilton Worldwide settlement agreement can be viewed here.

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Size:  2.9 KB ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Buchanan is an attorney with the law firm of Siskind Susser P.C. - www.visalaw.com - a full service U.S. immigration law firm representing employers and individuals nationwide for over 20 years. You can also follow this author on social media via Facebook and on Twitter @BuchananVisaLaw .
  3. OSC Settles Immigration Claim Against USSI for $182,000

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), within the Justice Department, has reached a settlement with U.S. Service Industries (USSI), a janitorial company operating in Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

    The settlement resolves allegations that USSI required non-U.S. citizens to present more or different types of documents as a condition of employment, while U.S. citizens were allowed to present their choice of documentation. 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 their citizenship status. The INA also prohibits employers from specifying documents that employees must present during the employment eligibility verification process.

    Under the settlement agreement, USSI will pay $132,000 in civil penalties to the United States; establish a $50,000 back pay fund to compensate any workers who may have lost wages; revise its employment eligibility verification policies; undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA for the next three years; and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for two years.

    Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Ms. Vanita Gupta, took this opportunity to remind employers that they “cannot create unlawful discriminatory obstacles for immigrants”, and large employers should “review their employment eligibility verification practices at all of their offices to make sure they are in compliance with the law.”

    A copy of the USSI settlement agreement can be viewed here.
  4. OSC Settles Discrimination Claim against Diversified Business Consulting Group

    By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), within the Justice Department, has reached a settlement with Diversified Business Consulting Group Inc. (“DB Consulting”), an information technology staffing agency headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland.

    The settlement resolves allegations that DB Consulting’s human resources personnel required non-U.S. citizens, but not U.S. citizens, to present specific types of documents during the employment eligibility verification process to establish their work authority. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from specifying documents that employees must present during the employment eligibility verification process based on an employee’s citizenship status or national origin.

    Under the settlement agreement, DB Consulting will pay $7,700 in civil penalties to the United States. DB Consulting has also agreed to change its hiring policies and be subject to monitoring of its hiring practices for the next one (1) year and will be required to do the following:

    1) Advise OSC of any changes in the company’s employment policies as they relate to nondiscrimination on the basis of citizenship status and national origin at least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of such revised policies;

    2) Send all current human resources personnel, and all new human resources personnel to attend a compliance training webinar presented by the OSC; and

    3) Send OSC copies of completed Forms I-9, including attachments for all employees hired between 6 months and one year after the effective date of the settlement agreement.

    A copy of the DB Consulting settlement agreement can be viewed here.
  5. DOJ Settles Immigration Discrimination Claims Against Generations Healthcare

    By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser
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    The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), within the Justice Department, has reached a settlement with Life Generations Healthcare LLC, d/b/a Generations Healthcare, a company that runs assisted living facilities throughout California. The current settlement follows a decision by the Office of Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) finding that GHC engaged in a pattern and practice of document abuse against foreign-born individuals, including naturalized U.S. citizens, and discriminated against two foreign-born, work authorized individuals in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

    This case began on September 30, 2011, when the OSC filed a lawsuit against Generations Healthcare alleging that it discriminated against authorized foreign-born workers by requiring them to produce more or different documents to establish authority to work than it required of citizens born in the United States, by refusing to honor documents tendered that on their face reasonably appeared to be genuine, and by engaging in a pattern or practice of document abuse against foreign-born, work authorized individuals. After a trial, OCAHO ruled in favor of the government.

    The current settlement resolves issues in the case that OCAHO did not address in its earlier ruling. As part of the settlement, Generations Healthcare will pay $208,000 to be divided in the following manner:

    - $119,313 in back pay to two victims of discrimination; and
    - $88,687 in civil penalties to the United States.

    Generations Healthcare has also agreed to change its hiring policies and be subject to monitoring of its hiring practices for the next two (2) years and will be required to do the following:

    1) Revise its employment policies as they relate to nondiscrimination and provide them for review and approval by OSC within thirty (30) days of the effective date of the settlement agreement;

    2) Advise OSC of any changes in the company’s employment policies as they relate to nondiscrimination on the basis of citizenship status and national origin at least thirty (30) days prior to the effective date of such revised policies;

    3) Send all current human resources personnel, and all new human resources personnel to attend a compliance training webinar hosted by the OSC; and

    4) Send OSC copies of completed Forms I-9, including attachments -- every four months -- for all employees hired during that period.

    Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, Ms. Vanita Gupta, took this opportunity to remind employers to “review their hiring policies and employment eligibility verification practices to ensure that they comply with federal anti-discrimination law.”

    A copy of the Life Generations Healthcare settlement agreement can be viewed here.
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