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OSC TELEPHONE INTERVENTIONS

OSC Interventions:  Citizenship Status

Fiscal year covers the period of October 1 thru September 30

Fiscal Year 2014

Baltimore, MD

On January 23, 2014, OSC intervened to assist a hotline caller who was told she would not be able to join the military unless she provided her stepfather's naturalization certificate even though she had already provided his U.S. passport. The OSC attorney called the Army recruiter to explain that U.S. passports, like naturalization certificates, are proof of U.S. citizenship. The Army recruiter had been unaware that U.S. passports could be used for his purposes. However, he checked and confirmed that he could rely on a U.S. passport for proof of U.S. citizenship. The hotline caller was informed that she would be able to join the military and was extremely grateful for OSC's assistance.

Fairfax, VA

On May 28, 2014, OSC intervened to save the job of an LPR. The worker was offered a job; however, when she presented her Permanent Resident Card for I-9 purposes, she was told that the job was for U.S. citizens only. The worker contacted OSC, and OSC called the employer and inquired about the U.S. citizen-only hiring requirement. After some research, the HR director explained that they had made a mistake and the job did not require U.S. citizenship. The employer decided to allow the worker to begin working immediately.

Galveston, TX

On July 10, 2014, OSC intervened on behalf of a work-authorized individual whose employer had neglected to hire him as a paid employee based on his citizenship status. The worker called OSC's hotline and explained that he had been doing research for the employer for several years. All the other individuals conducting the same research were paid for their work, but the worker was not. In November 2012, the worker obtained an EAD. He showed his document to his supervisor for Form I-9 purposes and his supervisor informed the worker that she could not accept the document and he could not be paid because he did not have the "proper visa." The worker continued to do research for the employer through July 2014 without pay. OSC then contacted the employer and asked whether there was a law, regulation, executive order or government contract requiring that its employees have a particular citizenship status, and the employer stated that there was not. OSC explained an employer's obligations under the anti-discrimination provision and the employer decided to bring the worker on as a paid employee going forward, and provided him with approximately $50,000 in back pay.

Fiscal Year 2013

St. Cloud, MN

On October 4, 2012, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to allow an LPR to continue the hiring process for a retail store. The employer had rejected the worker's driver's license and Social Security card as proof of work authorization and insisted on seeing the worker's Permanent Resident Card because she had marked her status in Section 1 of the I-9 form as an LPR. OSC spoke with an HR representative and explained that a combination of an unexpired List B document with a List C document was sufficient documentation for the I-9 process. The employer stated that worker would be allowed to continue with the hiring process.

Indianapolis, IN

On November 14, 2012, OSC saved the job of an LPR. The worker had recently arrived from the Dominican Republic, and had a I-551 stamp on his passport, indicating that he is an LPR and allowing him to work for one year until he receives his Permanent Resident Card. The employer, a food processor, demanded that the worker present his Permanent Resident Card and his unrestricted Social Security card in order to verify his eligibility for employment authorization. OSC contacted the employer's human resource manager, and explained that the worker's I-551 stamp on his Dominican passport was a valid List A document for I-9 purposes. The employer further agreed that the worker should not have been required to provide his Social Security card as the I-551 stamp was sufficient for I-9 purposes. The employer was grateful for OSC's guidance, and hired the employee.

San Diego, CA

On December 7, 2012, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention and allowed a U.S. citizen to continue with the job application process. The applicant, a dual citizen, applied for a job with a subcontractor of the U.S. Navy. Due to some background check guidelines from the Navy for individuals with dual citizenship, the employer told the applicant that she could not continue with the application process because of her dual citizenship. The applicant called OSC; in turn OSC contacted the subcontractor, and the subcontractor determined that it was misinterpreting the guidelines. Consequently, the subcontractor revised its hiring process for dual citizens and allowed the applicant to continue the application process.

Phoenix, AZ

On December 11, 2012, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention and saved the job of a U.S. citizen. The worker, a recently naturalized citizen from Kenya applied for work at a staffing agency but was denied employment because of a problem with his background check. The worker called OSC; in turn, OSC contacted the manager at the staffing agency's headquarters to inquire about the issue related to the worker's background check. The manager realized that the issue had been resolved but the information had not been sent to the hiring site. The manager stated that the worker could return to the hiring site for job placement.

Washington, DC

On April 4, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of an LPR. The LPR presented his Permanent Resident Card that he received from Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in 1985, which does not have an expiration date; thus, the employer did not accept it and requested the worker to obtain proof from USCIS that he is work-authorized. The worker called OSC; in turn, OSC contacted the employer and explained that this version of a Permanent Resident Card is still acceptable for Form I-9 purposes. OSC referred to the USCIS Handbook for Employers (M-274) as a reference. The HR director accepted the explanation and stated that the employee would be allowed to begin work immediately.

Kent, WA

On April 24, 2013, an OSC attorney assisted an individual in getting his unemployment benefits restored. While the individual's claim was initially approved, it was later denied when the unemployment benefits agency could not verify the individual's citizenship status. OSC received guidance from USCIS's SAVE program and the agency was then able to confirm citizenship status information using SAVE's guidance, once again approving the individual's claim.

Buffalo, NY

On April 30, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of an LPR. The worker was asked by her employer to produced a new Permanent Resident Card because the one on file was about to expire in a few days. The worker explained that she had already applied for a new card but the employer insisted that he needed to see a new unexpired card by the date of expiration or the worker would have to be taken off the work schedule until she could present the new card. The worker called OSC; in turn, OSC contacted the employer and explained that a Permanent Resident Card does not need be reverified. OSC referred the employer to the USCIS Handbook for Employers. The HR director stated that worker would be allowed to remain on the job uninterrupted.

LaPunta, CA

On May 8, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of an LPR. The LPR was asked by her employer to produced a new Permanent Resident Card because the one on file was about to expire. The worker explained that she had not applied for a new Permanent Resident Card. The employer dismissed the worker and advised that she could return once she had received her new card. The worker called OSC; OSC in turn called employer and educated the employer about proper reverification procedures and the fact that LPRs do not need to be reverified. OSC also sent the employer a copy of the M-274 (Handbook for Employers), identifying the guidance about reverification. The employer accepted the explanation and allowed the worker to return to work immediately, paying the worker $3,238.40 in back pay.

Kearney, NJ

On May 13, 2013, an OSC attorney learned that her phone call to an employer, a major national retail chain, resulted in a worker keeping her job. The worker, a lawful permanent resident, presented her foreign passport with unexpired I-551 stamp in it for verification purposes. The employer's representative insisted on seeing the worker's Permanent Resident Card, claiming she needed to inspect the card to obtain a number from the back of the card. As the worker had lost her Permanent Resident Card and was waiting for a replacement, she was unable to provide it and was told that she could not work until she did. The worker called OSC and as a result of OSC contacting the store manager and leaving a message with the legal department seeking to discuss the matter, the store manager invited the worker to return to work and stopped insisting that the worker present additional documentation.

Miami, FL

On May 14, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of an LPR. The worker was asked by her employer to produce a new Permanent Resident Card because the one on file had expired. The worker had not applied for a new card so she called USCIS and they referred her to OSC. The worker called OSC; in turn, OSC contacted the employer and explained that a Permanent Resident Card does not need to be reverified. OSC referred to the USCIS Handbook for Employers as a reference. The HR director accepted the explanation and stated that employee would be allowed to remain on the job uninterrupted.

Worzalla, MA

On May 22, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of an LPR. The worker was asked by her employer to produce a new Permanent Resident Card because the one on file had expired. The worker had applied for a new card so he called USCIS and was referred to OSC. The worker called OSC; in turn, OSC contacted the employer and explained that a Permanent Resident Card does not need to be reverified. OSC provided the USCIS Handbook for Employers as a reference. HR staff stated that the worker would be allowed to remain on the job uninterrupted.

Jackson Heights, NY

On May 28, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of an LPR. The worker was asked by her employer to produced a new Permanent Resident Card because the one on file was about to expire. The worker called OSC; in turn, OSC contacted the employer and explained that a Permanent Resident Card should not be reverified. OSC provided the USCIS Employer Handbook as a reference. The HR director accepted the explanation and stated that the worker would be allowed to remain on the job uninterrupted.

Chicago, IL

On August 12, 2013, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention to save the job of a U.S. Citizen. The U.S. Citizen was hired and submitted an unexpired driver's license and a receipt for a replacement of a lost Social Security card. However, the HR specialist was not certain if the receipt was an acceptable document. The worker called OSC, in turn OSC contacted the HR specialist and explained that the receipt was good for 90 days pursuant to I-9 receipt rules. The employer stated that worker would be allowed to begin work immediately

Fiscal Year 2012

Baltimore, MD

On September 5, 2012, OSC intervened to save the job of an LPR. The employee had been working for a major healthcare company for several years when the employer advised the worker that his I-551 (Permanent Resident Card) had just expired. The employer then suspended the worker until he could present a new unexpired Permanent Resident Card. The employee contacted OSC, and an OSC staff member called the Human Resources Director's office. The OSC staff member discussed the reverification process, and explained that a Permanent Resident Card does not need to be reverified. Human Resources representative allowed the employee to return to work immediately and paid him $1,106.49 in lost wages.

Fremont, CA

On September 7, 2012, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention and helped an LPR to be classified as a California resident eligible to pay in-state tuition. The admissions office advised the LPR that he would be charged out-of-state fees because, as the bearer of an expired Permanent Resident Card, he was "basically undocumented." OSC called the dean of admissions and explained that LPRs are authorized to live and work in the United States indefinitely, and that they do not lose their legal status when their Permanent Resident Cards expire. The dean of students decided to classify the student as a California resident eligible to pay in-state tuition, which costs approximately half of the costs of out-of-state tuition.

Austin, TX

On September 21, 2012, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention and saved the job of a U.S. citizen. The employer, a manufacturing company, insisted on reverifying the worker's Permanent Resident Card which had expired recently. The worker had been working for the employer for several years and was recently naturalized. When the worker presented his naturalization certificate, the HR representative maintained that he needed to present an unexpired Permanent Resident Card because the naturalization certificate was not part of the I-9 List of Acceptable Documents. The worker called OSC's hotline. OSC called the HR department, explained that an expired Permanent Resident Card must not be reverified and that a naturalization certificate is an acceptable document under List C; however it was not needed for this case. The HR representative stated that the employer would take no further action against the worker.

Fiscal Year 2011

Austin, TX

On May 27, 2011, OSC completed a successful telephone intervention and saved the job of a lawful permanent resident from the Philippines.  The worker had accepted a part-time job as a registered nurse with the Sheriff’s office, but during the I-9 employment eligibility verification process she was told she could not be hired because she is not a U.S. citizen.  OSC called the Sheriff’s office and requested that it provide OSC with the reference to any law or ordinance that would require nurses working for the Sheriff’s office to be U.S. citizens. (Such a law would exempt the Sheriff’s office from the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and allow it to have a citizen-only hiring policy).  The Sheriff’s office realized that although Sheriff’s deputies and some other officers must be U.S. citizens, there is not a citizenship requirement for nursing positions.  The Sheriff’s office then decided to continue the hiring process.

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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