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OSC Letters of Resolution for FY2009

OSC issued letters of resolution to U.S. employers who voluntarily entered into bi-lateral and unilateral settlement agreements with the charging parties resolving discrimination charges.  Letters of resolution were also issued to conclude independent investigations where the employer has voluntarily corrected its practices and no victims were identified. 

The following are summaries of letters of resolutions issued in fiscal year 2009 (October 1, 2008 - September 30, 2009):

On October 6, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination. The charging party, a U.S. citizen, alleged that the company discharged her because it preferred undocumented workers. During its investigation of the charge, OSC identified two other individuals who were discharged under similar circumstances. In response to OSC's investigation, the company resolved the issues raised by the charge by entering into bilateral settlement agreements with each of the affected individuals. Under the agreement, the charging party received $500; a second person received $1,200 in back pay; and a third person was reinstated. In its letter dismissing the charge, OSC provided educational materials addressing proper I-9 employment eligibility verification procedures. (Elk Grove Villiage, IL)

On October 9, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of national origin discrimination filed by a naturalized U.S. citizen. The charging party alleged that she was terminated after ten months of employment because she speaks limited English with an accent. In response to OSC's investigation, the parties reached a bilateral agreement resolving the charge. Pursuant to the agreement, the charging party received $1,180 in back pay. She was also offered reinstatement, but she declined because she is now happily employed elsewhere. (San Dimas, CA)

On October 10, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse. The charging party, a refugee, alleged that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the INA when it rejected his unrestricted Social Security card as evidence of his continued employment eligibility after the expiration of his employment authorization document (EAD). OSC intervened shortly after the refugee was suspended and was able to arrange the refugee's reinstatement. The refugee subsequently filed a charge with OSC seeking back pay for the two weeks that he was laid off. In response to the charge, the company agreed to pay the refugee full back pay in the amount of $660. (San Diego, CA)

On October 30, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge alleging over-documentation in the employment eligibility verification process (document abuse), based upon a bilateral agreement between the company and the charging party, a lawful permanent resident (LPR). The company admitted that it had erroneously re-verified the charging party's employment eligibility and terminated him because his resident alien card had expired. LPRs are work authorized incident to their status, and, therefore, their employment eligibility may not be re-verified. In response to OSC's investigation of the charge, the company entered into a settlement agreement with the charging party that provides for his reinstatement and $8,640 in backpay. In addition, the company agreed to utilize OSC resources and materials to train its human resources personnel on employer responsibilities under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (York, PA)

On November 14, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination and document abuse. The charge was filed on behalf of a U.S. citizen who failed to contest an E-Verify Notice of Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC). An E-Verify TNC is the response that E-Verify generates if the employee's employment eligibility cannot be immediately confirmed. Pursuant to the charge investigation, the company committed to provide its staff with additional training on E-Verify by January 31, 2009. It also agreed to issue revised E-Verify guidance by December 31, 2008, to clarify its E-Verify procedures and ensure that employees are given TNC notices. (San Francisco, CA)

On November 21, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a document abuse discrimination charge filed by a refugee. The refugee alleged that she was not hired because of a notation on her Social Security card that read: valid for work with INS authorization, and that the employer rejected her valid employment authorization document for I-9 purposes. In response to OSC's investigation, the parties reached a bilateral agreement resolving the charge. Pursuant to the agreement, the charging party received $400 in back pay, and was offered reinstatement. (Lakeland, FL)

On November 21, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a document abuse discrimination charge filed by a U.S. citizen. The employer participates in E-Verify, the Department of Homeland Security's electronic employment eligibility verification system. When E-Verify issued a notice of tentative non-confirmation of the worker's employment eligibility status (TNC), the employer November 26, 2008 improperly refused to permit him to begin work until he resolved it. In response to OSC's investigation, the parties reached a bilateral agreement resolving the charge. Pursuant to the agreement, the charging party received $4,104 in back pay and was reinstated. (Phoenix, AZ)

On November 21, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse filed by an individual who was denied employment. The charging party, an applicant for permanent resident status, alleged that he was not hired even though he was authorized to work. In response to OSC's investigation of the charge, the company entered a bilateral agreement with the charging party in which it agreed to forgo collection of $6,778.24 in relocation expenses that the charging party was advanced. The company also agreed to amend its hiring policies and website to make clear the categories of individuals eligible for permanent employment and expand the number documents that it will accept as evidence that an applicant fits one of the categories. (Houston, TX)

On November 21, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination and document abuse. The Charging Party, a legal permanent resident, was terminated after receiving an E-Verify notice of tentative nonconfirmation (TNC), which is generated if the employee's employment eligibility can not be immediately confirmed. In this instance, the employer improperly failed to provide a referral letter, which instructs the employee how to resolve the TNC. In response to OSC's investigation of the charge, the employer offered the charging party reinstatement and provided him with full back pay ($664). (Mesa, AZ)

On December 2, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse. The charging party, a U.S. citizen, alleged that her start date was delayed because she received an E-Verify TNC. In response to OSC's investigation, the employer entered a bilateral agreement under which the charging arty received $596.25 in back pay. In addition, the employer is requiring its human resources personnel to retake the E-Verify tutorial. (Hauppauge, NY)

On December 4, 2008, the OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge filed by a truck driver who is a lawful permanent resident (LPR). The company had rejected the driver's LPR card for employment eligibility verification (form I-9) purposes, a document listed on the back of the form I-9 as establishing both employment eligibility and identity. In response to OSC's investigation, an agreement was reached between the parties resolving the charge. Under the agreement, the company paid the driver $500 in back pay. The driver now has another job and did not wish to return to work. (Hayward, CA)

On December 15, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge filed by a refugee. The company terminated the refugee because it did not properly follow the Department of Homeland Security's electronic employment eligibility verification (E-Verify) procedures. In response to OSC's investigation, the company reached a bilateral agreement with the charging party that provided for $600 in back pay and reinstatement. (Columbus,OH)

On December 18, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge filed by a Mexican national and natualized U.S. citizen. The charging party alleges that the company refused to hire her because it unlawfully refused to accept her U.S. passport and unrestricted Social Security card for employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) purposes. In response to OSC's investigation, an agreement was reached between the parties resolving the issues raised in the charge. Under the agreement, the company paid the charging party $2261 in back pay. The charging party refused the company's reinstatement offer. (Papillion, NE)

On December 22, 2008, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of national origin discrimination filed by a permanent resident. The charging party alleged that her first language is Spanish, she was hired to attract Hispanic clients, she was asked to prepare a "Se Habla Espanol" sign for the window, and she was expected to speak Spanish with the clientele. Nevertheless, the charging party was terminated for speaking Spanish. In response to OSC's investigation, the parties reached a bilateral agreement resolving the charge. Pursuant to the agreement, the charging party received $1,500 in back pay. Although the charging party was also offered reinstatement, she declined because she has obtained alternative employment. (Alexandria, VA)

On January 13, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge based on a bilateral settlement agreement between the parties. The charge alleged that the company placed five advertisements that specifically sought H-1B visa candidates for employment to the exclusion of U.S. workers. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the company will add an EEO statement to its website addressing the anti-discrimination provision; refrain from preferentially seeking temporary visa holders for employment; refrain from placing advertisements that specifically encourage applications from people with a specific immigration status; and permit monitoring of its employment practices by OSC for one year. OSC did not find any individual victims of citizenship status discrimination during its investigation of the charge. (Tampa, FL)

On January 29, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse and citizenship status discrimination filed by the Legal Aid Society Employment Law Center on behalf of a lawful permanent resident (LPR), based on a bilateral settlement agreement between the parties. Our investigation found that the employer improperly requested the injured party to provide a new permanent resident card (Form I-551 or "green card") because the card that she originally presented did not contain an expiration date, and that it terminated her when she could not provide a new one. Pursuant to the agreement between the parties, the employer agreed to reinstate the injured party and pay her $3,000 in back pay. The employer will also revise its employment eligibility verification policy to comply with Form I-9 guidance issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and to provide training to those responsible for applying the policy. (San Francisco, CA)

On January 30, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge filed by a lawful permanent resident (LPR). The employer did not hire the LPR because it was complying with a federal law which requires that a minimum percentage of U.S. citizens operate covered vessels. Nevertheless, as a result of OSC's investigation, the employer informed the lawful permanent resident of open positions not requiring U.S. citizenship, and invited him to apply for those positions. (Channelview, TX)

On March 25, 2009, OSC dismissed a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral settlement agreement under which the charging party received $2,000 in back pay. The charging party, a lawful permanent resident, alleged that the company committed discriminatory document abuse when it required him to produce a green card prior to being hired, even though he had presented other documents sufficient for Form I-9 purposes, i.e., his driver's license and unrestricted Social Security card. (Los Angeles, CA)

On April 7, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of discrimination filed by a lawful permanent resident alleging that he had been laid-off on the basis of his citizenship status. Pursuant to a bilateral agreement between the parties, the company reinstated the lawful permanent resident to his previous position, and the charging party agreed to withdraw his charge. No evidence of discrimination was discovered during the course of the investigation. (Lindon, UT)

On April 23, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of discrimination filed by a citizen alleging citizenship status discrimination and retaliation. Specifically, the charging party alleged that he was terminated because the company preferred to employ undocumented workers. In response to OSC's investigation, the parties reached a bilateral agreement resolving the charge. Pursuant to the agreement, the charging party received $2,380 in back pay. He was also offered, but declined reinstatement because he is now living in Puerto Rico. (Chicago, IL)

On April 24, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse, based on a unilateral resolution with the company. Our investigation found that the company did not commit document abuse against the charging party; however, the company exhibited a lack of concern for ensuring that its stores use proper employment eligibility verification procedures. Moreover, documents produced by the company demonstrated a lack of understanding of proper verification procedures. Pursuant to the agreement, the company agreed to implement formal training on proper verification procedures and to revise its electronic Form I-9 software to better ensure compliance with proper procedures. (Okemos, MI)

On April 30, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse filed by a lawful permanent resident, based on a bilateral resolution between the parties. Our investigation found that nearly three years after hiring the charging party, the company improperly requested that he produce a new Form I-9 document, and terminated him for his failure to do so. Pursuant to a bilateral settlement agreement between the parties, the company agreed to pay the charging party $3,000 in back pay. In addition, the parent company, agreed to revise its written employment eligibility verification policy to remove language suggesting that an employee should be more closely scrutinized during the Form I-9 process based on national origin or citizenship status. (South Saint Paul, MN)

On May 18, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status and national origin discrimination. OSC's charge investigation revealed that the charging party, a U.S. citizen employed by a third party and assigned as a caregiver, had been barred from the company based upon its administrator's determination that the charging party had engaged in illegal gambling while at the company and was not authorized to work in the United States. The parent company conceded that the company's administrator had exceeded her authority and relied on erroneous information in determining that the charging party was not authorized to work, and it formally reprimanded her. However, during the investigation we determined that the charging party would have nonetheless been barred from the facility for a nondiscriminatory reason, i.e. gambling on the premises. Therefore, we dismissed the charge based upon the formal reprimand of the company's administrator and its adoption of a policy to refrain from verifying the employment eligibility of non-employees who require access to the facilities in connection with their third-party employment, unless required by law. In addition, the parent company has amended its corporate EEO policy to add citizenship status as a prohibited basis of discrimination. (Torrance, CA)

On May 19, 2009, OSC dismissed a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral agreement providing the charging party with $2,000 in back pay. The charging party, a naturalized U.S. citizen, alleged that the company committed unlawful document abuse when it terminated him following the issuance of a tentative non-confirmation (TNC) from E-Verify, the electronic employment eligibility verification program administered by the Department of Homeland Security. OSC's investigation revealed that neither the company nor the Charging Party follow proper E-Verify procedures for resolving a TNC. (Reno, NV)

On June 16, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution in a charge based upon a unilateral resolution. The charge alleged that the company placed Web based, help wanted advertisements that indicated a preference for foreign workers. However, OSC did not find any individual victims of citizenship status discrimination during its investigation of the charge. The company maintained that it did not hire anyone after placing the on-line job announcements. Pursuant to the unilateral resolution, the company will refrain from preferentially seeking temporary visa holders for employment and refrain from placing advertisements that specifically encourage applications from people with a specific immigration status. (Irving, TX)

On July 2, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of retaliation, based on a bilateral resolution with the company. The Charging Party alleged she had been terminated in retaliation for a complaint against the company for over-documentation in the employment eligibility verification process ("document abuse"). The company denied the allegation, contending the Charging Party was instead terminated based on poor work performance. Pursuant to a bilateral agreement between the parties, the company agreed to pay the Charging Party $18,000. (Williams, AZ)

On July 8, 2009, OSC dismissed an independent investigation and issued a letter of resolution based upon the company's elimination of job postings that discriminate on the basis of citizenship status and its agreement to place the following language in its future job advertisements: "Must be authorized to work in the United States for any employer" or "Indicate if you are authorized to work in the U.S. or if you will require visa sponsorship for employment." In addition, the company will follow OSC's "Best Practices for Online Job Postings"; and has placed an equal employment opportunity statement on its website. (Newwark, NJ)

On July 10, 2009, the Office of Special Counsel ("OSC") dismissed a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral resolution wherein the Charging Party's employment was reinstated with full seniority and benefits. The Charging Party, a Lawful Permanent Resident, alleged that the Respondent committed document abuse in violation of 8 U.S.C. §1324b when it required him to produce employment eligibility verification documentation following a company-wide audit of Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) forms, even though he had worked there for 14 years. (Sugarland, TX)

On July 21, 2009, the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) notified OSC that it has granted OSC's motion to dismiss the complaint based on a negotiated settlement. Pursuant to the settlement, the charging party received $10,000 in back pay. In addition, the charging party and the other identified injured parties were apportioned an allowed, unsecured claim of $150,000 in Respondent's bankruptcy proceeding. The complaint alleged that the company fired the charging party and other authorized U.S. workers because it preferred to employ undocumented contract workers. (Irvine, CA)

On July 29, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing charges of citizenship status discrimination filed by three U.S. citizen. The charging parties alleged that the company failed to hire them because it preferred to hire H-2A visa holders. Pursuant to a bilateral resolution, Respondent will pay each of the three $2,000 in back pay. (Capac, MI)

On September 1, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a document abuse charge filed on behalf of 1200 members, because the charging party's allegations were fully resolved by a bilateral settlement agreement entered by the parties. The charge alleged that the company refused to accept acceptable documents from its members during the reverification process to demonstrate their continued employment eligibility. The employees subjected to reverification were identified by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Services, as having presented suspect documents at the time of hire. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the company will conduct the reverification process as a standard I-9 process, and employees will be permitted to present any acceptable List A document or combination of List B and List C documents. (Minneapolis, MN)

On September 17, 2009, OSC dismissed a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral resolution wherein the charging party's employment was reinstated with full seniority and benefits, as well as full back pay. The charging party, a refugee, alleged that the company required him to produce an DHS-issued employment authorization document even though he had presented an unrestricted Social Security card for Form I-9 re-verification purposes. (Hurlock, MD)

On September 25, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation alleging a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination. The investigation was initiated because of facially discriminatory language appearing on the employer's website indicating that the medical residency program would accept applications only from U.S. citizens, LPRs, or J-1 visa holders. This language omits refugees and asylees, who are protected from citizenship status discrimination under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. OSC issued a letter of resolution after the employer eliminated the discriminatory language. No individuals were identified who were deterred from applying or whose applications were rejected on the basis of citizenship status. (New Haven, CT)

On September 25, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation alleging a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination. The investigation was initiated because of facially discriminatory language appearing on employer's website suggesting that the medical residency program would accept applications only from U.S. citizens, LPRs, or J-1 visa holders. The language is discriminatory in that it expressly omits refugees and asylees, who are protected from citizenship status discrimination under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. OSC issued a letter of resolution after the employer eliminated the discriminatory language. No individuals were identified who were deterred from applying or whose applications were rejected on the basis of citizenship status. (Denver, CO)

On September 25, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation alleging a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination. The investigation was initiated because of facially discriminatory language appearing on employer's website suggesting that the medical residency program would accept applications only from U.S. citizens, LPRs, or J-1 visa holders. The language is discriminatory in that it expressly omits refugees and asylees, who are protected from citizenship status discrimination under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. OSC issued a letter of resolution after the employer eliminated the discriminatory language. No individuals were identified who were deterred from applying or whose applications were rejected on the basis of citizenship status. (Springfield, IL)

On September 25, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation alleging a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination. The investigation was initiated because of facially discriminatory language appearing on the employer's website suggesting that the medical residency program would only accept applications from U.S. citizens, LPRs, or J-1 visa holders. The language is discriminatory in that it expressly omits refugees and asylees, who are protected from citizenship status discrimination under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. OSC issued a letter of resolution after the employer eliminated the discriminatory language. No individuals were identified who were deterred from applying or whose applications were rejected on the basis of citizenship status. (Winston Salem, NC)

On September 25, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation alleging a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination. The investigation was initiated because of facially discriminatory language appearing on the employer's website suggesting that the medical residency program would accept applications only from U.S. citizens, LPRs, or J-1 visa holders. The language omits refugees and asylees, who are protected from citizenship status discrimination under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. OSC issued a letter of resolution after the employer eliminated the discriminatory language. No individuals were identified who were deterred from applying or whose applications were rejected on the basis of citizenship status. (Sacramento, CA)

On September 28, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse, citizenship status and national origin discrimination filed by a refugee. The charging party alleged that the company demanded that he present a green card during the job application process. During the course of the investigation, OSC was unable to determine that a green card had been demanded from the charging party, but ascertained that the company may have engaged in a pattern or practice of document abuse. OSC dismissed the charge based on the company's commitment that: (1) it will not request employment eligibility verification documents from any individual prior to making an offer an employment to the individual; and (2) it will train all managers and employees who have any role in completing the Form I-9, or who instruct employees or prospective employees on the proper completion of the form. (Miami, FL)

On September 29, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a document abuse discrimination charge filed by an asylee. The company concluded that the asylee was not authorized to work when his employment authorization document expired, and terminated him. In response to OSC's investigation, the parties reached a bilateral agreement resolving the charge, pursuant to which the company paid the asylee $1,831.20 in back pay and reinstated him with seniority. (Upper Marlboro, MD)

On September 30, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status and national origin discrimination based on the company's unilateral corrective actions. The Charging Party, a U.S. citizen, alleged that the company had published an Internet-based advertisement indicating a preference for non-immigrant foreign workers from India. The company immediately removed the job posting, and took steps to avoid discriminatory advertising in the future. (Boston, MA)

On September 30, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge alleging that the company posted advertisements stating a preference for immigrant visa holders, and thereby discouraged U.S. citizens from applying for those positions. As a result of OSC's investigation, the company: took additional steps to ensure that its clients do not recruit on the basis of citizenship status; made corrections to articles on its website designed to inform employers and other clients about the requirements of the anti-discrimination provision of the INA; and encouraged the Programmers Guild and any other parties concerned about discriminatory postings on its website to contact the company's designated point of contact. (New York, NY)

On September 30, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination engaged in discriminatory advertising practices favoring H-1B workers and other temporary workers. As a result of OSC's investigation, the company immediately changed its advertising practices to comply with OSC's Best Practices for On-line Advertising. Because OSC's investigation revealed that the company's underlying hiring practices were not discriminatory and no victims were identified, OSC dismissed this matter as a unilateral resolution. (Ashburn, VA)

Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688 Employer Hotline: 1-800-255-8155

General Information Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices
 
Leadership
(currently vacant)
Special Counsel
Alberto Ruisanchez
Acting Deputy Special Counsel
Contact
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
OSC, NYA 9000
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 616-5594
Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688
Employer Hotline: 1-800-255-8155
Teletypewriter (TTY) (202) 616-5525 & 1-800-237-2515
Fax: (202) 616-5509
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