FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECR
OCTOBER 14, 1999(202) 616-2777
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL SETTLES DOCUMENT ABUSE CASES AGAINST TWO CALIFORNIA EMPLOYERS
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Two California employers today agreed to resolve separate allegations that they discriminated against individuals they thought were non-citizens, the Justice Department announced.
Both out-of-court agreements resolve allegations brought by the Civil Rights Division's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), alleging that Macy's West, a division of Federated Department Stores and based in Newark, California, and Valet Parking Service of Culver City, California, violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). As a result of the agreements, both companies have agreed to train personnel responsible for completing and verifying I-9 forms, pay back salary to the individuals and post notices concerning their responsibilities under INA. In addition, Valet Parking Service has agreed to pay civil penalties to the federal government.
"We are pleased with the full cooperation these two companies provided," said John Trasviña, Special Counsel for OSC. "It is also an accomplishment that relief was obtained for individuals without resort to litigation,"
The case against Macy's West began in June 1999, when Sacha Nincevic, a permanent resident, filed a charge with OSC alleging that he was terminated by the company because the resident alien card he provided was expired. Alien cards do not need to be reverified by employers because permanent residents remain work-authorized even if their resident alien cards expire. Under the terms of the agreement, Macy's will pay Nincevic $10,900 in back pay and reinstate him to a comparable position to the one he lost.
The case against Valet Parking Service began in March 1999, when Fernando Alvardo, a resident alien who was hired as Valet's new human resources director, filed a complaint with OSC alleging that the company continually insisted that he produce an INS-issued document for employment eligibility verification purposes, even though he had already produced a valid driver's license and social security card as proof of employment eligibility.
An investigation by OSC found that Valet had been regularly requesting INS-issued documents from non-citizens, while allowing citizens to produce the documents of their choice for completion of the I-9 form. The document abuse provision of the INA makes it illegal for employers with four or more employees to request more or different documents than are required to establish identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. By law, all employees, regardless of nationality or immigration status, may present any acceptable document or combination of documents from a list of acceptable documents.
Under the terms of the agreement, Valet will pay Alvarado $6,000 in back pay, and will pay $24,000 in civil penalties to the U.S. for document abuse violations.
Individuals seeking more information about assistance provided by OSC may call (800) 255-7688 or write to:
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related
Unfair Employment Practices
P.O. Box 27728
Washington, D.C. 20038-7728