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OSC Letters of Resolution for FY2010

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 2010 (October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010):

On October 21, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge alleging discriminatory recruitment preferences for H-1B and other non-immigrant visa holders. The letter of resolution was based on the company’s adoption of policies conforming its recruitment activities to the requirements of the anti-discrimination provision and its commitment to incorporate OSC’s “Best Practices for Online Job Postings.” OSC’s investigation determined that, while the company had utilized questionable language in some of its 2008 job advertisements, it stopped all recruitment and hiring activities in late 2008. (Dublin, OH)

On October 28, 2009, OSC issued letters of resolution dismissing three charges of citizenship status discrimination, document abuse, and retaliation filed by former employees. The charging parties, U.S. citizens, alleged that they were constructively discharged because the company preferred to employ H-2A visa workers. Two of the charging parties also alleged retaliation and one alleged document abuse. Pursuant to a bilateral resolution between the charging parties and the company, the charging parties each received $3,000 in back pay. (Imlay City, MI)

On November 4, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution. The charging party, a citizen of Liberia residing and working in the United States pursuant to a Deferred Enforced Deportation (DED), alleged that he was improperly terminated at the end of January 2009 from his part-time position as residential counselor because his employment authorization document (EAD) had expired. DHS has automatically extended the expired EADs of Liberians with DED until March 2009. After OSC initiated its investigation, the parties entered into a bilateral resolution of the charge. Under the bilateral resolution, the charging party was immediately reinstated to his former position and received a net payment of $3,000 in back pay. (Philadelphia, PA)

On November 16, 2009, OSC dismissed a charge pursuant to a unilateral resolution. The charge alleged that the company preferred H-2B visa workers over domestic workers in the hiring process. OSC issued a letter of resolution based on the company’s adoption and implementation of policies that favor U.S. applicants over H-2B visa holders in the hiring process. (Sterling, VA)

On November 25, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination filed by a U.S. citizen. The company’s website language for prospective employees stated a preference for “U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or J-1 visa holders.” This language excluded refugees and asylees, who are protected for citizenship status discrimination under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). After OSC pointed out the discriminatory language to the company, the company eliminated the language from its website. (Paterson, NJ)

On December 10, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral settlement that provided the charging party with $600 in back pay. The charging party, a lawful permanent resident, alleged that her boss committed citizenship status discrimination by denying her request to transfer to another location. (Houston, TX)

On December 15, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse by a Mexican lawful permanent resident. The injured party alleged that the company rejected his valid lawful permanent resident card during the employment eligibility verification process. The parties entered into a bilateral agreement resolving the charge that provided the injured party with $4,250 in back pay. In addition, the company has committed: (1) not to request employment eligibility verification documents from any individual prior to making an offer of employment; (2) not to discriminate on the basis of citizenship status or national origin; (3) to treat all individuals equally, without regard to citizenship status or national origin, during the Form I-9 verification and reverification process; and (4) to provide the Form I-9 Handbook for Employers to all current and future employees who are responsible for formulating and/or carrying out the company’s employment eligibility verification policy and to require those employees to view an educational videotape. (Clovis, CA)

On December 23, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral settlement wherein the charging party received $6,000 in back pay. The charging party, who is now a lawful permanent resident (LPR), alleged that her employer committed document abuse and retaliation when it terminated her for previously using counterfeit documents. OSC’s investigation revealed that the company manager refused to change the charging party’s personnel records after she became a lawful permanent resident in 2008, but retained her as an employee. Following a subsequent audit of employment eligibility verification documents (Form I-9) by corporate headquarters in 2009, the charging party was terminated retroactively for using a fraudulent name and Social Security number despite the fact that she had attempted to correct her records previously. (Napa, CA)

On December 31, 2009, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral settlement pursuant to which the charging party received $15,000 in compensation. The charging party, a U.S. citizen, alleged that his employer terminated him five days after he reported to the local police department that his employer hired undocumented workers. (Fort Smith, AR)

On January 20, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse and retaliation filed by a lawful permanent resident. As part of a bilateral settlement agreement between the parties resolving the charge, the charging party was reinstated. The company has also trained its human resources staff on proper employment eligibility verification procedures. (Plainville, MA)

On January 21, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination filed by a U.S. citizen. This matter was originally handled by OSC as a hotline intervention. The company ran an E-Verify query on the citizen, which eventually resulted in a final nonconfirmation and, as a result, the worker was fired. During OSC’s intervention, it was determined that the charging party’s name had been misspelled when the query was originally submitted to E-Verify. Following the intervention, the E-Verify query was resubmitted using the correct name and the citizen was rehired. However, because she had missed a week’s work, she filed a charge with OSC seeking back pay. As part of the bilateral agreement between the parties resolving the charge, the charging party received $596.40 in back pay, representing the wages that she lost between her termination and the date she was rehired. (Estero, FL)

On January 25, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge after the parties entered into a bilateral settlement reinstating the charging party to her job. The charging party, who is now a lawful permanent resident (LPR), alleged that her employer discriminated against her based on citizenship status when it terminated her for previously using counterfeit documents. OSC’s investigation revealed that, after being initially terminated for falsifying her employment eligibility documents, the charging party was rehired, only to be terminated again based on the original falsification. Our investigation revealed no other employees who had violated the policy, and the employer has committed to apply its dishonesty policy in a consistent, non-discriminatory fashion in the future. (Rockford, IL)

On January 26, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse and retaliation filed by a lawful permanent resident. The LPR alleged that the company terminated her when her I-551 temporary evidence of permanent residence stamp expired, even though she produced an unrestricted Social Security card. As part of a bilateral settlement agreement between the parties, the charging party was rehired. The charging party indicated to OSC that she did not wish to seek back pay. The company has also trained its human resources staff on proper employment eligibility verification procedures. (Boston, MA)

On February 25, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of retaliation filed by a lawful permanent resident based on a bilateral resolution reached between the parties. The charging party alleged that he had been terminated in retaliation for complaining that the company improperly required him to complete a new Form I-9. The company denied the allegation, contending it did not commit document abuse and that the charging party’s termination was for work-related problems and not related to his complaints about completing a new Form I-9. Pursuant to a bilateral agreement between the parties, the company agreed to withdraw its appeal of the Charging Party’s unemployment claim, change the Charging Party’s termination to a lay off, and receive training on proper employment eligibility verification procedures. (Glendale, CA)

On March 8, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination filed by a lawful permanent resident who applied for a job. The job announcement contained an unlawful U.S. citizenship requirement. As part of a unilateral resolution, the Respondent amended its advertising practices, removed all citizenship preferences from its job announcements, and provided training to its human resources staff. (New York, NY)

On March 10, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse filed by a lawful permanent resident which alleged that the company rejected his green card during the job application process. OSC dismissed the charged based on the company’s agreement 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 to all managers and employees who have any role in completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9, or who instruct employees or prospective employees on the proper completion of the form. The company has committed to providing OSC with proof of the training and other corrective measures. (Syracuse, IN)

On March 23, 2010, OSC issued a bilateral resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse and citizenship status discrimination filed by a LPR. The lawful permanent resident alleged that the company terminated him after it ran his name through E-Verify and received a FNC. The parties entered into settlement agreement resolving the charge under which the charging party was reinstated and received full back pay of $3,200. (Durham, NC)

On March 31, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge filed by a lawful permanent resident alleging document abuse. Specifically, the worker alleged that she produced a permanent resident card to prove her identity and employment eligibility after being offered a job as a store clerk, but that the company demanded to see her driver’s license and Social Security card. In response to OSC’s investigation, the company reached an agreement with the worker that provided for job relief and $2,130 in back pay. The worker accepted the back pay but rejected the reinstatement offer because she now has another job. (Hagerstown, MD)

On March 31, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse filed by a lawful permanent resident who was suspended after her permanent resident card expired, contrary to proper Form I-9 procedures. In response to OSC’s investigation, the employer reinstated the worker with full back pay ($1,180), amended its Form I-9 reverification practices to comply with the law, and provided training to its human resources staff on proper employment eligibility verification procedures. (New York, NY)

On May 7, 2010, OSC issued letters of resolution dismissing seven charges of discrimination based on a bilateral agreement by the parties that resolved the charges. The company has locations nationwide. The charging parties were not authorized to work when the company hired them but later legalized their status and corrected their information with the company. They were terminated years after correcting their information in the course of an I-9 audit, despite having provided valid identity and employment authorization documents. The company claimed the terminations were based on the charging parties’ initial dishonesty about their work authorization status. Pursuant to the settlement agreements, the charging parties will receive a total of $13,167 for their discrimination claims under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, in addition to $75,633 for another claim related to their employment. The company separately agreed to receive training from OSC on proper employment eligibility verification procedures. (New York, NY)

On May 18, 2010, a charge was dismissed pursuant to a letter of resolution. The charge alleged that the company preferred H-2B visa workers over domestic workers in the hiring process. The resolution was based on the company’s adoption and implementation of policies that favor U.S. applicants over H-2B visa holders in the hiring process. (Alexandria, VA)

On May 26, 2010, OSC issued letters of resolution dismissing two charges of document abuse filed. OSC also closed independent investigations of three contracting companies related to the same charges. The charges, filed by two lawful permanent residents, alleged the company refused to allow them to work on a project for a U.S. governmental agency because they are not U.S. citizens. During the course of the investigation, OSC discovered that a U.S.-citizen only hiring policy had been erroneously implemented by the prime contractor for the project. The prime contractor, a technology applications company, agreed to pay the charging parties approximately $7,500 each in back pay, and all four companies were trained by OSC on May 19, 2010, on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Columbia, MD)

On June 14, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination filed by a lawful permanent resident who applied for a job. The job announcement contained an unlawful U.S. citizenship preference. As part of a unilateral resolution, the employer amended its advertising practices, removed all citizenship preferences from its job announcements, and provided training to its human resources staff. It also specifically agreed to abide by OSC’s “Best Practices for On-Line Job Postings.” (Pleasant Hill, CA)

On June 18, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse. The charge alleged that the company terminated the charging party, a U.S. citizen, after he received a TNC from E-Verify. The charging party had been employed by the company for seven months before he was improperly run through E-Verify. In response to OSC’s investigation, the company and the charging party reached an agreement providing that he would withdraw his charge in exchange for reinstatement and a payment of $3,500 to the Charging Party. The charging party rejected the company’s offer of reinstatement. (Hilton Head, SC)

On June 28, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination.  The charge, filed by a lawful permanent resident, alleges the company terminated her for submitting false documentation at the time of hire.  During the course of employment, the company allowed the lawful permanent resident to change her name and social security number to reflect her newly lawful status, and she continued working until the company conducted a Form I-9 audit a year later and terminated her.  The company agreed to train its human resources staff on proper Form I-9 procedures, and will provide the USCIS Handbook for Employers and Form I-9 to human resources 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. (Vernon, CA)

On June 29, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination. The charge alleged that the company terminated the charging party, a U.S. citizen, because it preferred undocumented workers. In response to OSC’s investigation, the company and the charging party reached an agreement providing that he would withdraw his charge in exchange for reinstatement and $4,576 in back pay. The charging party started working again for the company on June 14, 2010. (Houston, TX)

On July 7, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a citizenship status discrimination, document abuse and retaliation charge filed by a U.S. citizen, stemming from the worker receiving and contesting an E-Verify TNC from the Social Security Administration. The company participates in E-Verify through a Designated Agent. Here, the document the worker presented to complete the Form I-9 contained an incorrect date of birth which likely led to the TNC. The worker failed to bring this error to the attention of the company. The worker alleged that after she received the TNC, the employer refused to place her on any temporary assignments and that the worker was terminated after the company received an erroneous FNC from E-Verify. Our investigation revealed that there was no reasonable cause to believe charging party was discriminated against. However, our investigation did reveal that the Designated Agent was providing the employer with a version of the TNC that is no longer used by USCIS, and that the company needed to re-train its employees on proper E-Verify procedures. As part of the resolution, the company agreed to provide training to its human resources staff on proper employment eligibility verification procedures and proper E-Verify procedures. The Designated Agent has since started using current versions of E-Verify TNCs and referral letters. (Vienna, VA)

On July 12, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing an E-Verify-related charge filed by a naturalized U.S. citizen. The worker had changed his name when he naturalized but had not updated his SSA record to reflect the name change. OSC’s investigation revealed that the worker received and contested an E-Verify TNC. When the worker went to SSA to resolve it, SSA failed to follow proper procedures, which required it to place the case in continuance to permit sufficient time for its records to be corrected. As a result, E-Verify issued an erroneous FNC and the worker was fired. After SSA corrected the information, the company delayed rehiring the worker. The worker then contacted OSC and was rehired after OSC explained the situation to the employer. The worker subsequently filed a charge with OSC seeing compensation for the work he missed. As part of the charge resolution, the charging party received $3,000 in back pay and the company agreed to provide training to its human resources staff on proper Form I-9 and E-Verify procedures. (St. Joseph, MO)

On July 14, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution closing an independent investigation regarding its Web-based, on-line system that may have precluded recent refugees and asylees who lacked Social Security numbers from applying for jobs.  This dismissal is predicated upon changes the company made to its Web-based, on-line system, which now allows an individual without a Social Security number to apply on-line and be hired by the company.  (Atlanta, GA) 

On July 16, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution, dismissing a charge of discrimination. The charge alleged that the company refused to offer temporary employment to the charging party, a lawful permanent resident, based on an E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmation response. In response to OSC’s investigation, the company extended a job offer to the charging party and revised its training materials to comply with proper E-Verify and Form I-9 procedures. (Lombard, IL)

On July 27, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination based on the company's implementation of unilateral corrective action and adoption of policies and procedures ensuring compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA in all future recruitment initiatives and hiring procedures. While the investigation showed that the company had included a citizenship status restriction in a single online job posting, it also established that the charging party’s status as an LPR played no role in the decision to offer employment to another candidate. Upon receiving notice of OSC’s investigation, the company immediately sought guidance form OSC on how to re-structure its recruitment notices to comply with the INA’s antidiscrimination provision, withdrew is earlier online posting, issued new online postings following OSC’s “Best Practices for Online Job Postings,” and obtained training using videos and other resources available via OSC’s website. (New York, NY)

On August 2, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination based on the company's implementation of unilateral corrective action and adoption of policies and procedures ensuring compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA in all future recruitment initiatives and hiring procedures. The investigation showed that since 1988, the company had used an employment application that asked applicants whether they could establish their U.S. citizenship. However, the investigation also established that the company did not have a hiring policy restricting employment to U.S. citizens, did not include this restrictive language in any of its recruitment or vacancy announcements, and had in fact hired non-U.S. citizens before and after the charging party filed a discrimination charge with OSC. The company unilaterally revised its old employment application to eliminate any reference to citizenship, amended its EEO policy statement to include citizenship status discrimination as a prohibited agency practice, and will schedule training to be conducted by OSC for its human resources personnel from the company and associated school districts. (Santa Rosa, CA)

On August 6, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution closing an independent investigation of the company’s employment eligibility verification practices.  The investigation was opened based on a concern that the company was requiring certain or all workers to provide a Social Security card during the I-9 process.  As a result of OSC’s investigation, the company revised its hiring and employment eligibility verification policies to comply with proper I-9 procedures.  (Santa Ana, CA)

On September 16, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution closing an independent investigation regarding its Web-based, on-line system and in-store kiosks that may have precluded recent refugees and asylees who lacked Social Security numbers from applying for jobs.  This dismissal is predicated upon changes the company made to its Web-based, on-line system and in-store kiosks which now allow an individual without a Social Security number to apply on-line and be hired by the company.  (Minneapolis, MN) 

On September 27, 2010, OSC issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge of document abuse discrimination filed by a U.S. citizen. This dismissal followed the company making changes to its web site based on OSC’s recommendation. The company agreed to remove language on its website that specified which documents to produce for employment eligibility verification, and to substitute alternative language. In addition, the company agreed to show an OSC training DVD to all employees, including managers and supervisors who are responsible for the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process. Forty-eight employees viewed the DVD. The company has also incorporated the educational DVD into its employee training program and has shown interested in having OSC conduct on-site training in the future. (Philadelphia, PA)

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
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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