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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

OSC Settles with Houston Community College; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser, P.C.

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The Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached an agreement with Houston Community College (HCC) resolving allegations that the college violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 


The investigation began after an individual filed a charge alleging that she was discriminated against in the hiring process.  The investigation revealed that for at least the last two years, HCC engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination by requiring non-U.S. citizens to provide specific documentation establishing their work authority, while not making similar demands from U.S. citizens.  However, interestingly, OSC did not find that the individual that filed the charge was herself a victim of the discriminatory practice.

Under the settlement agreement, HCC will pay $83,600 in civil penalties.  It also agreed to abandon its prior department-based employment eligibility verification process in favor of a centralized verification process, create a $20,000 back pay fund to compensate potential victims who lost wages as a result of the discriminatory practices, to undergo Justice Department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and to be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of two years. 


As previously noted, the OSC is vigorously pursuing employers who violate the INA. So be careful and hire an immigration compliance attorney to audit your employment practices.

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