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Chinese Immig. Daily
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By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law
Two related janitorial companies, Paragon Building Maintenance, Inc. and Pegasus Building Services Company, Inc., of Long Beach, California have settled claims with Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) (formerly known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practice) of the Department of Justice by agreeing to pay a penalty of $115,000 and to create a back pay fund of $30,000 to compensate eligible workers who lost pay due to these documentary practices. The settlement resolves the IER’s investigation into whether the companies violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against work-authorized immigrants when checking their work authorization documents.
The IER concluded Paragon and Pegasus routinely requested that lawful permanent residents show their permanent resident cards (green cards) to prove their work authorization while not requesting specific documents from U.S. citizens. Lawful permanents residents often have the same work authorization documents available to them as U.S. citizens, and may choose other acceptable documents besides the Permanent Resident Card to prove they are authorized to work. The investigation further revealed that the companies required lawful permanent resident employees to re-establish their work authorization when their permanent resident cards expired, even though federal law prohibits this practice.
Under the settlement, the companies also have agreed to post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA’s antidiscrimination provision, train their human resources personnel, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.
This settlement is one of the first for the IER since President Trump took office. It will be interesting to see if the IER is as aggressive toward employers under the new president as they were in the last few years of the Obama administration.
By Bruce E Buchanan
The USCIS recently announced that Permanent Resident Cards (also known as Green Cards) do not always include the holder’s signature. Since February 2015, the USCIS we has been waiving the signature requirement for people entering the United States for the first time as lawful permanent residents after obtaining an immigrant visa abroad from a U.S. Embassy or consulate.
Additionally, in limited cases, the USCIS may waive the signature requirement for certain people, such as children under the age of consent, or individuals who are physically unable to provide a signature.
When the USCIS issues a Permanent Resident Card without a signature, the card will say “Signature Waived” on the front and back of the card where a signature would normally be located.