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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

Employer Prevails in Document Abuse Case; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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OCAHO recently held an employer did not engage in document abuse against the charging party. See Guth v. Kaiser Permanente Hawaii, 10 OCAHO no. 1190 (2013). The employee, Guth, stated on his I-9 form that he was a U.S. citizen; however, he was actually a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Kaiser began verifying all current employees when it received a federal contract and opted to do so under FAR E-Verify. When Kaiser submitted Guth’s information listing him as a U.S.citizen, it received a tentative non-confirmation due to the discrepancy between listing himself as a U.S. citizen and actually being a LPR. Thereafter, Guth was referred to Social Security Administration which issued a final non-confirmation. After Guth admitted he was a LPR, Kaiser still tried to help him and spoke to Department of Homeland Security, who advised to close the case and start a new E-Verify request with the LPR information. But Guth presented a LPR card in someone else’s name; thus, it could not be submitted to E-Verify. Subsequently, Kaiser terminated Guth due to final non-confirmation. Guth’s assertion that there was an “E-Verify error” was incorrect as it was Guth’s error in identifying himself as a U.S. citizen when he was a LPR. Furthermore, Kaiser’s request for more documentation was an attempt to assist Guth after he incorrectly identified himself as a U.S. citizen. Thus, OCAHO did not find Kaiser committed any document abuse. This was a nice victory for employers as clearly Kaiser correctly followed the E-Verify procedures and the employee was just looking for someone to blame for his error.

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