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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

DOJ Files Lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms Alleging Discrimination toward Work-Authorized Non-Citizens

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The Department of Justice, through the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), has filed a lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms Inc., a major U.S. egg producer based in Seymour, Indiana, alleging it engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against work-authorized non-citizens in the employment
eligibility verification process.


The complaint alleges Rose Acre had a standard practice of subjecting newly hired non-U.S. citizens to unauthorized demands for more, different or specific documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security in order to verify their employment eligibility, while U.S. citizens were permitted to present their choice of documentation. According to the complaint, Rose Acre purchased an electronic employment eligibility verification software system in June 2009
that may have prompted human resource officials to demand certain documents from non-U.S. citizens.


The complaint seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by Rose Acre, changes in Rose Acre's policies and procedures for verifying employment eligibility, monetary damages for those harmed by the Rose Acre's actions, and civil penalties.


The Immigration and Nationality Act's (INA) anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the hiring and employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status or national origin.


This is another example of the OSC cracking down on employers who seek over-documentation or dictate documentation needed for the I-9. This case is an important lesson on I-9 software, not all of it follows the law on I-9 compliance. So do your due diligence towards the purchase of I-9 software.  Just because your software wants certain documents doesn't mean it is lawful to require such documents.

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