OSC LETTERS OF RESOLUTION FOR FY2016

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 2016 (October 1, 2015 - September 30, 2016):

On October 16, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a document abuse charge filed by an LPR. The Charging Party, a Jamaican national and lawful permanent resident of the United States, alleged that the Respondent demanded that he produce a new Permanent Resident Card, even though he had produced a valid New York driver’s license and an unrestricted Social Security card during completion of his Form I-9. The Charging Party contacted OSC, and after attempts at resolving the matter via telephonic intervention proved unsuccessful, the Charging Party, who at this point had been re-hired by the company, filed a charge with OSC seeking approximately three weeks of back pay. In the letter of resolution, Respondent confirmed that it entered into a bi-lateral agreement with the Charging Party, whereby the Charging Party received a total of $500 in back-pay. (Poughkeepsie, NY)

On October 20, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a document abuse charge filed by a TPS worker. The Charging Party, a Salvadoran national, alleged that the Respondent demanded that he produce a new EAD, even though he was under the automatic extension issued by USCIS for workers under TPS. The HR representative sent the Charging Party home, instructing him not to return until he had procured a new EAD. The Charging Party contacted OSC, and after attempts at resolving the matter via telephonic intervention proved unsuccessful, the Charging Party filed a charge with OSC seeking approximately six weeks of back pay. In the letter of resolution, Respondent confirmed that it entered into a bi-lateral agreement with the Charging Party, whereby the Charging Party received a total of $2,400 in back-pay. (Melville, NY)

On October 26, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company's hiring practices. The investigation revealed that Respondent improperly rejected the Charging Party’s employment eligibility verification document, a Mexican passport and an Immigrant Visa (I-551). Although the immigrant visa had expired, the employment authorization conferred by the visa was not expired. Respondent has made the Charging Party whole with $5,260 in back pay. Respondent has also agreed to attend an OSC-sponsored educational webinar.  (Longmont, CO)

On November 3, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of document abuse based on a referral from USCIS. The investigation revealed insufficient evidence to form a reasonable cause to believe that the Respondent engages in a practice violating 8 U.S.C. 1324b. Because of some deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification practices, however, the company agreed that its employees who handle the employment eligibility verification process would register and take OSC’s web-based training by January 22, 2016. (Brooklyn, NY)

On November 9, 2015, OSC issued two letters of resolution following its investigation of the reverification practices of a restaurant in Boston, MA. The investigation revealed that during an I-9 audit, the restaurant employee handling the audit was initially confused about which documents required reverification, leading to both LPRs and citizens being unnecessarily reverified. The restaurant agreed to require all managers with responsibilities for completing, auditing or reverifiying I-9s to attend an OSC-sponsored educational webinar. (Boston, MA)

On November 12, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of an insurance company for alleged document abuse that led to termination of an employee. Although the investigation did not reveal a violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, it did reveal deficient practices in employment eligibility verification. The company agreed that its employees who handle the employment eligibility verification process would register and take OSC’s web-based training by February 1, 2016. (Dallas, TX)

On December 2, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following an independent inquiry into the hiring practices of a company. The investigation revealed that the Respondent posted a job advertisement for an entry level position and restricted applicants to U.S. citizens. The citizenship requirement was not based on a law, regulation, executive order, or government contract as permitted by 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(2)(C). The Respondent eliminated the citizenship requirement and extended the application period for an additional two weeks. The Respondent also agreed to review the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Employer Handbook (M-274) and register for an OSC employer webinar. (Kansas City, MO)

On December 10, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a document abuse charge filed by a US citizen. OSC found that the employer engaged in improper employment eligibility verification practices. In the letter of resolution, Respondent confirmed that it entered into a bilateral agreement with the Charging Party, which included paying the Charging Party a total of $1,729.00 in back-pay. Separately, Respondent also committed to OSC that it will: (1) revise and eliminate policies requiring employees to present specific documents; (2) require appropriate company personnel to attend an OSC-sponsored webinar training; and (3) utilize OSC’s employer information hotline. (Dallas, TX)

On December 14, 2015, OSC issued a letter of resolution following an investigation of a company. The employer terminated the Charging Party, a STEM student, because his EAD had expired, even though he was granted a 17-month STEM extension. The employer was unaware of the regulation that if a student’s EAD expires when his or her STEM extension is pending, he or she is authorized to work for 180 days from the initial EAD expiration date. The letter of resolution memorializes: (1) the employer’s payment of back pay to the Charging Party in the amount of $7,600, and (2) the employer’s training on proper reverification practices. (Denver, CO)

On February 17, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution to a clothing manufacturer resolving an independent investigation of an alleged pattern or practice of document abuse under 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6). As part of the resolution, the company will participate in an OSC sponsored training, will refrain from soliciting Form I-9 documents from applicants, and will provide the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents to all new hires. (North Bergen, NJ)

On February 23, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company. The Charging Party was separated from his employment after receiving an erroneous E-Verify Final Non-Confirmation ("FNC"). While the Charging Party failed to call the DHS Status Verifier as instructed, Respondent contributed to this error by failing to provide him with all of the pages of the Further Action Notice. Respondent has made the Charging Party whole with $2,500 in back pay. Respondent has also obtained additional training on proper employment eligibility verification and E-Verify procedures. (Tracy, CA)

On March 15, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company for alleged unfair documentary practices. The employer refused to accept the state identification card and certified birth certificate presented by the Charging Party, a U.S. citizen, as proof of identity and employment authorization. The employer’s refusal to accept the documents the Charging Party offered was based on its nondiscriminatory misunderstanding of the employment eligibility verification process. The employer has agreed to accept the document proffered by the Charging Party, not to retaliate against him for filing a charge with OSC, and to have its human resources officials register and complete an OSC webinar. (Charlotte, NC)

On March 15, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company for posting a facially discriminatory advertisement requiring applicants for a medical biller/office manager position to be United States citizens. The employer, which employs only six employees, admitted it copied the citizenship language from another company’s job posting on an online job posting website and incorporated it into the vacancy announcement. The announcement was the only one the employer had posted with the discriminatory requirement, and remained posted for one month. The employer has agreed to attend an OSC webinar. (Los Angeles, CA)

On April 5, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution to a company, following investigation of a charge filed by an alien authorized to work confirming that the company rejected her driver’s license and unrestricted Social Security card and required her to present a current Employment Authorization Document to establish her work authority. Because she lacked the required document, her employment was delayed. In response to the OSC investigation, the company unilaterally agreed to pay the Charging Party $4,500 in back pay and committed to taking actions to strengthen its compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Fridley, MN)

On April 8, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of a company for posting a facially discriminatory job posting for a developer that contained a “native citizen” requirement. The Respondent had not posted this requirement previously and did not fill the position. Under the letter of resolution, the Respondent retrained its recruiters on the proper posting language and on the company’s obligation to avoid discrimination under Section 1324b, and had their recruiters participate in an OSC webinar. (Holtsville, NY)

On April 19, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of document abuse filed by an LPR. The Charging Party, a Mexican national and legal permanent resident of the United States, alleged that the Respondent, a national retailer, did not allow him the  opportunity to contest a TNC that he received when the employer processed him through E-Verify. After receiving the TNC, the Charging Party repeatedly asked the employer representative to provide him with the paperwork and print out to contest the TNC, but the employer representative refused to do so, and suspended and eventually terminated the worker after the E-Verify System produced an FNC. The Charging Party filed a charge with OSC, and OSC and the Respondent agreed to resolve this matter via Letter of Resolution. In the Letter of Resolution, Respondent confirmed that it had entered into a bi-lateral agreement with the Charging Party, whereby the Charging Party received a total of $890 in back-pay and Respondent agreed to train its Human Resources personnel at the Carson, California store where the incident occurred. (Carson, CA)

On April 29, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company for posting a facially discriminatory advertisement requiring applicants for law enforcement officers to be United States citizens. The employer admitted that it had required United States citizenship based on a requirement from a particular agaency used to enforce. Upon receiving OSC’s notice and confirming with the agency that United States citizenship was no longer required, Respondent abandoned the citizenship requirement and re-posted the vacancy  announcement without the citizenship language. The employer has agreed to attend an OSC webinar, include information on its applications and web site informing job seekers that it does not require applicants to be United States citizens, add citizenship status to lists of protected characteristics in various policies, and notify community agencies whose assistance Respondent has used in recruiting police officers that Respondent no longer requires applicants to be U.S. citizens. (Cincinnati, OH)

On May 6, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company for posting a facially discriminatory advertisement requiring applicants for a window treatment installer position to be United States citizens. The employer claimed it mistakenly required  citizenship in an attempt to recruit work authorized applicants. The employer has agreed to have staff responsible for recruiting and hiring employees attend an OSC webinar and remove all references to citizenship status from its job postings. (Somers, CT)

On May 10, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company for posting facially discriminatory advertisements requiring applicants for lawn care positions to be United States citizens. The employer claimed that it mistakenly required citizenship based on information it received from its worker’s compensation insurance carrier suggesting that non-citizens were uninsurable. Upon verifying with the insurance carrier that all work authorized employees are insurable, the employer removed all references to citizenship status in its job postings and on its web site. Respondent has also committed to comply with the antidiscrimination provision of the INA and to have staff responsible for recruiting and hiring employees review literature on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. (Sellersville, PA)

On May 10, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a company for posting facially discriminatory advertisements requiring applicants for maintenance and water damage restoration technician positions to be United States citizens. The employer claimed it mistakenly required citizenship in an attempt to recruit work authorized applicants. The employer has agreed to have staff responsible for recruiting and hiring employees attend an OSC webinar and remove all references to citizenship status from its job postings. (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

On May 31, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution to a payroll company that advises clients on Form I-9 and E-Verify matters. In October 2015, the company incorrectly advised a client to reject the valid employment eligibility verification documents provided by a lawful permanent resident. The investigation also revealed that the company provided the same client with incorrect guidance on other portions of the employment eligibility verification process. The letter of resolution required the company to send memoranda to its clients (1) admitting to prior errors and correcting those errors; and (2) informing them of common mistakes in the I-9 process. (Seattle, WA)

On June 22, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution to a hotel chain resolving an independent investigation into whether hotels in the chain engaged in a pattern or practice of improper reverification of workers’ continued work authorization based on citizenship status.   OSC had already informally resolved one location’s improper reverification of a lawful permanent resident upon expiration of his Permanent Resident Card. OSC’s independent investigation revealed that while other hotels in the chain were not improperly reverifying Permanent Resident Cards, corporate policy and practice improperly required the presentation of a List B identity document during the reverification process if the employee presented a List C work authority document. The hotel chain committed to conform its reverification policies to conform with applicable legal requirements, update its training materials, and to provide additional training to the Human Resources Director at each hotel in the United States through an OSC or a joint OSC-USCIS webinar within the next 90 days. (Stamford, CT)

On June 28, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of possible document abuse. OSC’s investigation uncovered several troubling practices, but OSC concluded that there was insufficient evidence that a violation of the anti-discrimination provision had occurred. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to comply with the antidiscrimination provision, revise its materials to ensure compliance, and undergo OSC webinar training. (Doral Branch, FL)

On June 30, 2016, OSC dismissed a charge of document abuse pursuant to a bilateral resolution wherein a Haitian Charging Party with Temporary Protected Status ("TPS") who worked at an airport was reinstated and will receive $3,110 in back-pay. As part of the dismissal, Respondent has also agreed to participate in an OSC educational webinar. (Queens, NY)

On July 14, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of document abuse filed by an LPR. The Charging Party, a national of the Dominican Republic and legal permanent resident of the United States, alleged that the Respondent, a regional farm, improperly re-verified her employment eligibility. The Charging Party filed a charge with OSC after she was suspended without pay when she failed to produce a new, unexpired permanent resident card, after the permanent resident card that she had initially presented upon hire expired. While the Respondent quickly rectified its error and reinstated the Charging Party, it failed to provide the two weeks’ back pay she was owed as a result of the suspension. OSC and the Respondent agreed to resolve this matter via Letter of Resolution. The Letter of Resolution confirms that the Respondent and the Charging Party entered into a bi-lateral agreement, whereby the Charging Party received a total of $820.00 in back-pay, and Respondent’s Human Resources personnel will participate in one of OSC’s employer webinars to prevent future discrimination. (Harrisonburg, VA)

On July 20, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of an EV-81 referral. OSC initiated the investigation because it appeared that the company was discriminating against non-citizens in the employment eligibility verification process by requiring them to produce List A documents. To resolve the investigation, Respondent agreed to have each of its human resources employees attend a webinar training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA conducted by OSC. (Deer Park, NY)

On July 27, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a document abuse and retaliation charge filed by a United States citizen. The investigation revealed insufficient evidence to form a reasonable cause to believe that the Respondent engaged in a practice violating 8 U.S.C. 1324b. Because of some deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification practices, however, the company agreed that its employees who handle the employment eligibility verification process would register and take OSC’s web-based training and add citizenship and immigration status to the lists of protected characteristics in its equal employment opportunity policy. (Minot, ND)

On July 28, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of document abuse filed by a US citizen. Respondent’s manager at a franchise restaurant allegedly required the Charging Party to present her social security card to complete the I-9 process, and refused to allow her to complete the on-boarding process without it. OSC’s investigation revealed that the Respondent uniformly requires social security cards from all new hires as part of its on-boarding process, for payroll purposes rather than for the Form I-9. The manager who had requested the social security card was confused about Respondent’s purpose for the requirement, and therefore could not explain the purpose of the request to the Charging Party. OSC and the Respondent agreed to resolve this matter through a letter of resolution based on the Respondent’s commitment to have its managerial staff participate in an OSC webinar within the next 60 days. (Sacramento, CA)

On August 12, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge a temporary visa holder filed against a large accounting firm, alleging document abuse as well as citizenship status and national origin discrimination. The investigation revealed insufficient evidence to support a reasonable cause to believe that the Respondent had discriminated against the Charging Party in violation of 8 USC 1324b. Documents received in the course of the investigation showed, however, that individuals in the company’s recruiting, immigration and legal departments were misinformed about the company’s ability to deny employment to work-authorized non-citizens. The letter of resolution memorializes the Respondent’s commitment to conduct a legal review of its policies to ensure compliance with 1324b and to enroll leaders of the firm’s recruiting and immigration components in web-based training. (New York, NY)

On September 14, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of an EV-81 referral against a staffing agency. The investigation revealed that Respondent’s recruiting and hiring staff were misinformed about a number of issues pertaining to the Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification processes. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to enroll its staff in webbased training and provide them with informational resources about the rules and regulations surrounding the employment eligibility verification process. (Grand Rapids, MI)

On September 30, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution resolving an investigation of alleged discrimination under 8 U.S.C. § 1324b. The investigation was based upon a job announcement found online by OSC that included a requirement that the candidate be a U.S. citizen and be fluent in English. The company that posted the position did not have a lawful basis for the citizenship requirement and could not define what was meant by fluency or confirm whether English fluency was an absolute requirement. As part of the resolution of the investigation, the  company has removed all job announcements containing the citizenship requirement, has taken steps to ensure that no unlawful citizenship requirement is placed into future job announcements, will review its English fluency requirement to determine if “fluency” is a true requirement for each position in light of the position’s duties, and will participate in an OSC-sponsored webinar training. (Highland Park, IL)

Updated January 30, 2018

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