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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

OSC Settles Retaliation Claim

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By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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The Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), has reached a settlement agreement with North American Shipbuilding LLC, a company located in Larose, Louisiana. The agreement resolves a complaint filed with the OSC, claiming that the company retaliated against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination with OSC.

Based on its investigation, the OSC determined that North American Shipbuilding retaliated against an employee by barring him from the company’s business facilities. The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from intimidating, threatening, coercing or retaliating against workers who file a charge under the law.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,750 and $15,000 in back pay to the injured party. The company also has agreed to have certain personnel attend OSC’s training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA through a remote webinar presentation, to revise company policies to avoid retaliation in the employment eligibility verification process, and to post for one year an OSC poster – “If You Have the Right to Work.”

Although retaliations cases are quite common in EEOC matters, they have been uncommon in OSC matters. However, the lesson in all types of immigration-related and employment-related cases is the same – do not engage in retaliation against one who files a charge against the employer. All agencies regard retaliation cases as quite serious and could result, as shown in this case, with liability for back pay and civil penalties.

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