IER LETTERS OF RESOLUTION FY 2019

Please note that as of January 18, 2017, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices has been renamed the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER).

IER 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 2019 (October 1, 2018 - September 30, 2019):

On October 26, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution resolving a charge-based investigation of a California location of a national retailer for alleged unfair documentary practices based on citizenship status prohibited under 8 U.S.C. § 1324(b)(a)(6).  Although IER’s investigation did not find reasonable cause to believe that the employer violated the law, IER did identify procedural issues in the company’s employment eligibility verification processes that could create the appearance of a violation or lead to future discrimination. The LOR memorializes the employer’s commitment to have staff participate in an IER webinar, to modify problematic procedures, and to ensure that its employment eligibility verification processes comply with §1324b. (Bentonville, AR)

On November 8, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution (“LOR”) dismissing an independent investigation of unfair documentary practices based on citizenship status in the Form I-9 and E-Verify processes against a souvenir imaging company.  Although there was insufficient evidence that the company committed unfair documentary practices that violated 8 U.S.C. §1324b, the investigation identified shortcomings in the company’s Form I-9 and E-Verify practices that could lead to statutory violations in the future.  The LOR memorializes the company’s commitment to have its staff attend an IER HR/Employer webinar and provide its staff with Form I-9 guidance documents. (Orlando, FL)

On November 13, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution (LOR) dismissing its independent investigation of a wireless network provider for a potential pattern or practice of discriminatory documentary practices against non-citizens, including Lawful Permanent Residents, during its employment eligibility verification (EEV) process.  There was insufficient evidence that the company was engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6) during its EEV process, but IER’s investigation revealed problematic practices that could create the appearance of violations and lead to future statutory violations.  The LOR memorializes respondent’s commitment to comply with 8 U.S.C. § 1324b and train HR staff members involved in the Form I-9 process by attending an IER Employer webinar. (Santa Clara, CA)

On December 6, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation of an agricultural company for potential citizenship status discrimination and unfair documentary practices.  Although there was insufficient evidence that the company engaged in citizenship status discrimination or unfair documentary practices, the investigation identified several deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification (EEV) processes that potentially could lead to such violations.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to have its human resources staff attend an IER webinar and to comply with the rules and regulations surrounding all EEV processes.  (Winterhaven, FL)

On December 6, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation of a pork production company for potential discrimination against protected U.S. workers in favor of H-2 visa workers based on citizenship status.  Although there was insufficient evidence that the company engaged in citizenship status discrimination in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, the investigation revealed several deficiencies in the hiring and employment processes that could create the appearance of such violations or violations of other federal laws.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to have certain staff members attend an IER webinar and to take other additional measures to guard against citizenship status discrimination. (Perryton, TX)

On December 13, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge against a manufacturing company alleging citizenship/immigration and national origin discrimination as well as unfair documentary practices during its job interview process.  Although there was insufficient evidence that the company discriminated against the applicant based on his citizenship status or engaged in an unfair documentary practices when it requested documents to ensure compliance with federal trade regulations, the investigation identified potential shortcomings in the company’s hiring processes that could lead to unlawful discrimination.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to make changes to its hiring documents and guidance to align them with the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. (Dallas, TX)

On December 18, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation of an airline company for potential citizenship status discrimination and unfair documentary practices arising from the company’s hiring process, including its requests that applicants bring certain employment eligibility verification (EEV) to pre-employment job fairs.  Although there was insufficient evidence that the company engaged in citizenship status discrimination or unfair documentary practices, the investigation identified several deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification (EEV) processes that potentially could lead to such violations.  The letter of resolution memorializes the company’s commitment to have its human resources staff attend an IER webinar and to comply with the rules and regulations surrounding all EEV processes including revising its standard recruitment email to potential applicants. (Minneapolis, MN)

On December 20, 2018, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge alleging unfair documentary practices and discriminatory termination against a restaurant.  Although there was insufficient evidence that the restaurant requested more or different documents from the Charging Party, or terminated him based on his national origin or perceived citizenship status, the investigation revealed problematic Form I-9 practices that could lead a worker to believe that discrimination had occurred.  The letter of resolution reflects the Respondent’s commitments to participate in an in-person training conducted by IER and to comply with rules and regulations related to the INA’s anti-discrimination provision and the Form I-9.  (Washington, D.C.)

On January 28, 2019, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing an investigation against a food service provider arising from a charge that the company committed unfair documentary practices against a work-authorized individual by rejecting her valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as sufficient evidence of work her authorization and by not properly following E-Verify rules regarding tentative nonconfirmations.  After several weeks of not scheduling the Charging Party to work, the company recognized its mistake and offered her reinstatement with $2800 in back pay.  The company also re-trained its staff on proper Form I-9 and E-Verify procedures, as well as the INA’s antidiscrimination provision.  The company has agreed to participate in an IER-led training webinar and to provide its employees with additional Form I-9/E-Verify informational resources.  (Northfield, MN)

On January 31, 2019, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing an independent investigation of an IT staffing and consulting company regarding a job advertisement seeking only applicants with H-1B visas.  A foreign recruiter had published the ad without the company’s authorization.   After the company learned of the unauthorized publication, it promptly removed the discriminatory job posting the next day and took remedial actions to prevent future discriminatory postings.  The company also committed to ensuring that its future hiring and recruiting practices conform to the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Clive, IA)

On February 5, 2019, IER issued a letter of resolution (“LOR”) dismissing a charge of citizenship status discrimination against a medical services provider. The charging party, a U.S. citizen, alleged that the company failed to hire her because of her citizenship status and its desire to employ CW-1 visa holders over U.S. citizens, in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(1)(B). Although IER’s investigation did not find reasonable cause to believe that the company had discriminated against the charging party based on her citizenship status, IER’s investigation revealed deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification (“EEV”) and hiring processes that could result in violations of § 1324b. The LOR memorializes Respondent’s commitments to observe proper EEV procedures, comply with § 1324b, make the Form I-9 instructions and Handbook for Employers (M-274) available to its human resources staff, and have its human resources staff participate in IER-sponsored training. (Saipan, MP)

On February 7, 2019, IER issued a letter of resolution (LOR) resolving a charge-based investigation of an engineering firm for possible discriminatory documentary practices against non-citizens during the employment eligibility verification (EEV) process. While IER’s investigation did not find reasonable cause to believe the employer violated the law, IER did identify flaws in the company’s EEV process that could create the appearance of a violation or lead to future discrimination. The LOR memorializes the company’s commitment to comply with 8 U.S.C. § 1323b, train HR staff members by attending an IER webinar, and provide its staff with Form I-9 guidance documents. (Round Rock, TX)

On March 13, 2019, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing a charge that alleged that a hospital engaged in unfair documentary practices against a lawful permanent resident.  Although there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the hospital rejected the Charging Party’s valid work authorization documents or terminated her based on her citizenship status, the investigation revealed problematic practices related to the reverification of employees’ work authorization.  The letter of resolution reflects the Respondent’s commitment to provide $10,000 in back pay to the Charging Party in a bilateral agreement between them and to participate in an IER webinar.  (Las Vegas, NV)

On March 14, 2019, IER issued a letter of resolution to a recruiter, dismissing a charge-based investigation into whether the company engaged in discriminatory hiring and unfair documentary practices based on citizenship status, and retaliation.  A lawful permanent resident alleged that he was not hired because he refused to answer a question about his specific citizenship status, despite his affirmation that he was authorized to work in the United States, and he objected to the recruiter’s statement that the company only wanted to hire U.S. citizens.  Although IER’s investigation did not find sufficient evidence to determine that the company violated the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, the investigation revealed deficiencies in the recruiter’s understanding of hiring procedures that contributed to the appearance of discrimination and could lead to future statutory violations.  IER dismissed the investigation based on a bilateral agreement entered into during IER’s investigation, under which the company agreed to pay the Charging $4,000 in back pay, and the company’s commitments to train its recruiters and other employees regarding their obligations under 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.  (Austin, TX)

 

Updated March 19, 2019

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