IER LETTERS OF RESOLUTION FOR FY2017

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 2016 (October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2017):

On October 6, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of document abuse against a golf and hospitality company. Although there was insufficient evidence of a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination, the investigation revealed the  Respondent’s problematic use of a social security trace report from a private vendor as part of the employment eligibility verification (EEV) process and evidence that Respondent’s recruiting and hiring staff were misinformed about a number of issues pertaining to the Form I-9 and EEV processes. Ultimately, Respondent incorrectly terminated the charging party despite his having work authorization. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to provide the Charging Party with back wages, eliminate the use of the social security trace report as part of the EEV process, enroll its staff in web-based training, revise its policies, and provide its staff with informational resources about the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes. (Estero, FL)

On October 26, 2016, OSC issued a letter of resolution following an investigation of the document abuse. The Charging Party, a U.S. citizen who at the time of hire was a lawful permanent resident who produced a valid Permanent Resident Card to establish his employment eligibility. The Charging Party alleged that he was improperly re-verified in March 2016, and then terminated on March 31, 2016, after he resisted the company’s re-verification efforts by, among other things, contacting OSC for assistance. OSC’s investigation was resolved  when the the compnay offered to reinstate the Charging Party with no loss of seniority or benefit, paid back pay in the amount of $10,357.60, and committed to having all human resources employees responsible for the Form I-9 and E-Verify processes take an OSC sponsored webinar.  (Richmond, VA)

On November 1, 2016, the Division’s investigation into a pattern or practice of unfair documentary practices, as well as a potential policy of not hiring non-U.S. citizens for certain positions, established evidence that a public employer did not understand how to properly complete the employment eligibility verification process. The investigation was dismissed by Letter of Resolution requiring the public employer to: (1) not discriminate on the basis of citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, recruiting, and the employment eligibility verification and reverification process; (2) revise all policies to prohibit discrimination on the basis of citizenship status and national origin; and (3) train all personnel involved in the public employer's hiring process about the employment eligibility verification process, including completion of the Form I-9, through participation in an OSC webinar or in-person OSC training. (Shiprock, NM)

On January 3, 2017, OSC issued a letter of resolution to a staffing company to resolve an independent investigation concerning potential unfair documentary practices. OSC’s investigation did not develop sufficient evidence that the company engaged in unfair documentary practices but identified a number of deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification processes. The letter of resolution addressed these deficiencies through the company’s commitment to make policy changes and undergo OSC training. (Pottstown, PA)

On January 9, 2017, the Division issued a letter of resolution following its charge-based investigation of unfair documentary practices. OSC’s investigation uncovered evidence that the employer was unaware of the existence or meaning of Temporary Protected Status and did not know how to cope with situations where an employee’s employment authorization had been auto-extended. Under the terms of the letter of resolution, the employer paid the Charging Party $2,500 in lost wages, will have human resources staff register for and complete an OSC webinar, and will comply with the anti-discrimination provision. (Pottstown, PA)

On January 11, 2017, OSC issued a letter of resolution to a retail company following its investigation of potential unfair documentary practices. Despite uncovering some issues with the employer’s employment verification processes, OSC concluded that there was insufficient evidence that a violation of the anti-discrimination provision had occurred. OSC identified its concerns to the company, and as part of the investigation’s resolution, the company agreed to participate in OSC-sponsored webinar training, review and modify language contained in its policy and new hire materials, and to utilize the Social Security Number Verification System in accordance with its rules, including following its prohibition against using the program for employment verification purposes and against its selective use of the program for a subset of workers. (Simi Valley, CA)

On January 17, 2017, OSC issued of a letter of resolution following its charge-based investigation of possible unfair documentary practices. Despite uncovering issues with the employer’s E-Verify practices, OSC concluded that there was insufficient evidence that a violation of the anti-discrimination provision had occurred. Under the terms of the letter of resolution, the employer has agreed to pay the Charging Party $8,157.96 in lost wages, have human resources staff register for and complete an OSC webinar, and comply with the anti-discrimination provision. (Chattanooga, TN)

On January 25, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing an investigation into whether the 100% List A production rate amongst newly hired Lawful Permanent Residents (“LPRs”) was a result of unfair documentary practices based on citizenship status. After review of the company’s Forms I-9, IER found that while discriminatory intent was lacking, the company engaged in conduct that could result in discriminatory documentary practices. IER identified its concerns to the company, and as part of the investigation’s resolution, the company agreed to participate in an IER-sponsored webinar training. (Memphis, TN)

On January 30, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a rental car company to resolve a charge that the company committed an unfair documentary practice in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6). The charging party, an alien authorized to work, alleged that the company rejected her valid Form I-9 documents on two occasions. The company claimed that it mistakenly believed that the charging party required employer sponsorship to work in the United States. After receiving IER’s notice of investigation, the company immediately hired the charging party with full back pay. To fully resolve the matter, the company agreed to participate in an IER-sponsored training, and will distribute IER’s hotline number to employees involved in the Form I-9 process. (Albuquerque, NM)

On January 31, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its charge-based investigation of possible citizenship status and unfair documentary practices. Despite uncovering issues with the employer’s hiring practices, IER concluded that there was insufficient evidence that a violation of the anti-discrimination provision had occurred. Under the terms of the letter of resolution, the employer has agreed to pay the Charging Party $9,047.60 in lost wages, reinstate the Charging Party, have human resources staff register for and complete an IER webinar, and comply with the anti-discrimination provision. (Chicago, IL)

On February 13, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a sustainable packing company to resolve a charge that the company committed an unfair documentary practice in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6). The charging party, a refugee, alleged that the company rejected his valid Form I-9 documents on two occasions. The company claimed that it mistakenly believed that the charging party possessed TPS from Nepal. After receiving IER’s notice of investigation, the company immediately hired the charging party with no loss in seniority and paid him full back pay in the amount of $4,591.40.  The company also agreed to participate in an IER-sponsored training and will distribute IER’s hotline number to employees undergoing the Form I-9 process. (Metairie, LA)

On February 28, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of unfair documentary practices against a hospitality company. The investigation revealed insufficient evidence to support a reasonable cause to believe that Respondent routinely terminated employees who received tentative non-confirmations (TNCs) from the E-Verify system due to their national origin or citizenship/immigration status. However, information received in the course of the investigation suggested that Respondent might not properly address TNCs and that at least some staff members were uninformed about several issues pertaining to the Form I-9 and EEV processes. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to ensure that its staff members attend web-based training, ensure that its policies conform to the law, and provide its staff with informational resources about the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes. (Tucson, AZ)

On March 21, 2017, IER issued letters of resolution closing its independent investigation of three restaurant franchise locations for potential citizenship status discrimination. Respondents had posted job advertisements that restricted positions to U.S. citizens, but the restaurant did not do so based on a law, regulation, executive order, or government contract as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(2)(C). After the investigation began, the Respondents eliminated the citizenship requirement from their job advertisements. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondents’ commitments to enroll their staff in web-based IER training, comply with the law, and ensure that their staff becomes familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes. (Huntsville, TX - Gig Harbor, WA - Plymouth, MI)

On March 23, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of citizenship status discrimination, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation against a manufacturing company. Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, the investigation revealed a number of general deficiencies in the employer’s Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification (EEV) processes. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to enroll its staff in web-based training, comply with the law, and ensure that its staff becomes familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes. (Riverside, CA)

On March 30, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a company that helps fulfill IT staffing needs through direct placement of professionals on single and long term projects for its customers.  The investigation revealed several weaknesses in the company’s hiring practices.  Following IER’s investigation, the company’s recruiters no longer ask applicants for their specific citizenship status, and instead ask will applicants generally about their current or future need for sponsorship to work in the United States. Individuals who are responsible for conducting training on, formulating, supervising, and/or carrying out its recruitment policies for the company will also attend an IER Employer/HR Representative webinar training. (Indianapolis, IN)

On March 31, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of potential citizenship/immigration status discrimination in hiring by a non-profit organization.  Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination, the investigation revealed general deficiencies in the employer’s Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification (EEV) processes.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to enroll its staff in web-based training, clarify its policies and procedures for hiring staff, comply with the law, and ensure that its staff becomes familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes. (Washington, DC)

On April 5, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a restaurant following an investigation based on a charge alleging citizenship status and national origin discrimination in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(1). Although IER did not find sufficient evidence regarding a violation of the statute, IER identified that the company’s employment eligibility verification processes raised issues of concern that could be addressed through training. After cooperating with IER’s investigation, the company voluntarily agreed to participate in IER-sponsored training. (Tampa, FL)

On April 7, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a Texas-based engineering firm.  This letter resolves an independent investigation concerning potential citizenship status discrimination in the company’s hiring practices.  IER discovered that the company published several job vacancy advertisements requiring that applicants have U.S. citizenship.  IER’s investigation revealed that, while the evidence gathered did not support a finding that the company engaged in an unfair documentary practice,  there were several deficiencies in the company’s practices and procedures.  The letter of resolution addressed these deficiencies through changes in the company’s policies and procedures, and through training. (Fondren, TX)

On April 10, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a quasi-governmental entity that provides in-home nursing care to elderly individuals.  This letter resolves a charge-based investigation concerning potential unfair documentary practices.  IER’s investigation did not develop sufficient evidence that the company engaged in discriminatory conduct with respect to the charging party, but identified deficiencies with the entity’s employment eligibility verification process.  The letter of resolution addressed these deficiencies through policy changes and training. (Los Angeles, CA)

On April 20, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution closing an independent investigation of an on-line retailer's employment eligibility reverification process for potential citizenship/immigration status discrimination in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6). Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful citizenship status discrimination, the investigation revealed deficiencies in the employer’s re-verification process giving rise to the appearance of such discrimination. The letter of resolution acknowledges the employer’s commitment to have its human resources staff with employment eligibility duties participate in web-based training provided by IER and to continue its efforts to identify and make whole employees who suffered economic injury as a result of the company’s practices. (Trenton, NJ)

 

On April 27, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution (LOR) to a Janitorial company that allegedly rejected a worker’s Resident Alien Card issued in the mid-1980s and terminated him when he did not present other Form I-9 documentation. After IER opened the investigation, the company unilaterally decided to reinstate the Charging Party and give him $1,750 in back pay. IER did not find reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred, but did find weaknesses in the employer’s employment eligibility verification practices. As part of the LOR, the company agreed to have its regional HR manager participate in an IER webinar. (Duluth, GA)

On May 1, 2017, IER issue a letter of resolution to a small construction company following an investigation of unfair documentary practices brought by a former employee. The investigation revealed several weaknesses in the company’s Form I-9 procedures, but IER did not find reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred. In response to the IER investigation, the individuals responsible for employment eligibility verification attended a free IER training webinar and committed to using the USCIS Handbook for Employers (M-274) to assist the company in verifying the work authorization and identity of its new-hires. (Coal Creek, WA)

On May 1, 2017, IER issue a letter of resolution (LOR) to a staffing company.  The investigation revealed several weaknesses in the company’s hiring practices, but did not uncover sufficient evidence to support a violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  The LOR reflected the company’s decision to no longer ask applicants for their specific citizenship status, and that company staff would participate in an IER webinar. (Landover, MD)

On May 12, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following an independent investigation of possible discriminatory documentary practices against lawful permanent residents (LPRs) during the employment eligibility verification process.  The investigation revealed that an HR manager responsible for conducting the EEV process for the stores in the Las Vegas, Nevada, region may have requested that LPRs present their DHS-issued List A document during the EEV process.  Respondent implemented prompt corrective actions to prevent future discriminatory practices.  Pursuant to the Letter, the Respondent, inter alia, agreed to implement company-wide training focusing on the EEV process, and review existing policies. (Ontario, CA)

On May 17, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of citizenship/immigration status discrimination and unfair documentary practices in a technology company’s hiring process. Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination against the Charging Party, the investigation revealed that elements of the employer’s application materials and hiring practices might lead to the appearance (or instances) of discrimination. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to adjust language in its application materials, review certain IER guidance documents, ensure that company policies comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and enroll its staff involved in the hiring and employment eligibility verification processes in IER web-based training. (Plano, TX)

On May 31, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of potential unfair documentary practices by a janitorial services company.  Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination, the investigation revealed areas of concern pertaining to the employer’s Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification processes.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to enroll its staff in IER web-based training. (Metairie, LA)

On June 5, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of citizenship status discrimination and unfair documentary practices against a government entity. The Respondent admitted that it had erroneously reverified an LPRs permanent resident card, and the investigation revealed a number of deficiencies in the employer’s Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification (EEV) processes. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to enroll its human resources staff in IER web-based training on the Form I-9 and EEV processes, comply with the law, and provide IER’s employer hotline number to its human resources staff who perform EEV duties. (Santa Fe, NM)

On June 7, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of charges of citizenship/immigration status discrimination and retaliation by a landscaping company.  Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination or retaliation, the investigations revealed some areas of concern regarding the employer’s Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification (EEV) processes.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to enroll its staff in IER web-based training, clarify its policies and procedures for hiring staff, comply with the law, and ensure that its staff becomes familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes. (Waltham, MA)

On June 8, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its independent investigation of potential unfair documentary practices in hiring by a janitorial services company.  Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful discrimination, the investigation revealed areas of concern regarding the employer’s Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification processes.  The letter of resolution memorializes Respondents commitment to enroll its staff in IER web-based training, conform its hiring and EEV procedures to 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, and ensure that its staff becomes familiar with the rules and regulations surrounding the EEV processes. (Metairie, LA)

On June 9, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution closing an investigation of a charge of retaliation submitted by a worker who had raised concerns about his employer’s requests for new employment eligibility documentation and contacted IER’s hotline for assistance. The investigation revealed deficiencies in the employers’ staff’s understanding of the employment eligibility verification process and in the employer’s human resources processes. The letter of resolution acknowledges the employer’s commitment to have certain managers and human resources staff attend web-based training provided by IER. (Philadelphia, PA)

On June 14, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to an interstate trucking company with terminals in three states, to resolve a charge-based investigation concerning potential unfair documentary practices.  IER’s investigation did not develop sufficient evidence that the company engaged in unfair documentary practices, but identified a number of deficiencies in the company’s employment eligibility verification processes, such as written policies requiring workers to present specific documents for hire, instead of permitting employees to show the documents of their choice. The letter of resolution addressed these deficiencies through policy changes and training. (Springfield, MO)

On June 21, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a small manufacturing company resolving two charges alleging citizenship status and national origin discrimination that had been referred from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Specifically, the Charging Parties alleged that the company fired them due to a preference for Chinese nationals in the United States on various visas. Despite uncovering issues with the employer’s practices, IER concluded that there was insufficient evidence that a violation of the law it enforces. The letter of resolution acknowledges that the company paid $31,250 and $33,000 to the Charging Parties on its own initiative, as well as the company’s commitment to participate in an IER training and comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Chicago, IL)

On June 21, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution dismissing two charges alleging citizenship status discrimination against a small health care company. The charging parties had alleged that the company fired them due to a preference for unauthorized workers. Despite uncovering concerns about the employer’s practices, IER concluded that there was insufficient evidence of a violation of the law it enforces. The letter of resolution acknowledges that the company paid $2,000 each to the Charging Parties on its own initiative, as well as the company’s commitment to participate in an IER training and comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Corona, CA)

On June 27, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution to a home health provider resolving an independent investigation based on a referral from USCIS alleging unfair documentary practices. Despite uncovering issues of concern with the employer’s Form I-9/E-Verify practices, IER concluded that there was insufficient evidence of a violation of the law. The letter of resolution acknowledges the company’s commitment to participate in an IER training and comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Miami, FL)

On July 21, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of unfair documentary practices against an international professional services firm. Although there was insufficient evidence of such practices with respect to the charging party, the investigation identified deficiencies in the company’s training and understanding of proper Form I-9 processes. The letter of resolution memorializes Respondent’s commitment to comply with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and all other EEV processes and to enroll staff in an IER webinar. (Portland, OR)

On July 31, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution addressing deficiencies in an employer’s employment eligibility verification process following a charge-based investigation into possible unfair documentary practices by the employer. Under the terms of the letter of resolution, the employer voluntarily agreed to end its practice of asking employees to produce two forms of identification to fill out their new hire paperwork, to allow its employees to present their document or documents of choice from the “List of Acceptable Documents” to complete the Form I-9, to ensure that company personnel responsible for hiring and completing the Form I-9 take an IER Employer/HR webinar. The employer also voluntarily paid the charging party $750.00 in lost wages. (Salisbury, MD)

On August 14, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution (LOR) to a small company resolving a charge alleging citizenship status discrimination and unfair documentary practices. Specifically, the Charging Party, a U.S. citizen, alleged that the company asked him for a permanent resident card or other employment authorization information due mistakenly believing that he was a lawful permanent resident. Although employers cannot request more, different or specific employment eligibility verification documentation, IER’s investigation did not establish reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred. However, the investigation revealed problematic practices that could cause workers to believe they were subject to unlawful discrimination. The LOR acknowledges the company’s commitment to participate in IER and USCIS training for its HR personnel, develop written hiring procedures to minimize inconsistencies, and comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. (Gooding, ID)

On August 29, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution (LOR) following its investigation of a charge of unfair documentary practices against a food products supplier.  The Charging Party, who had Temporary Protected Status (TPS), alleged that the company rejected her valid documents during the reverification process in violation of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(6).  Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful citizenship status discrimination, the investigation revealed deficiencies in the employer’s reverification process.  The employer subsequently reinstated the Charging Party and paid her $4,812.62 in back pay.  The LOR acknowledges the employer’s commitment to have its human resources staff participate in IER-sponsored training, familiarize itself with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes, and comply with the law. (Aurora, CO)

On September 12, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following its investigation of a charge of unfair documentary practices against a supermarket cooperative.  The Charging Party alleged that the company improperly rejected her valid employment documents during the E-Verify process and terminated her without giving her an opportunity to contest a TNC.  Although there was insufficient evidence of unlawful citizenship status discrimination, the investigation revealed deficiencies in the employer’s E-Verify procedures.  After IER’s intervention, the employer reinstated the Charging Party and paid her $1,856.00 in back pay.  The letter of resolution acknowledges the employer’s commitment to have its human resources staff participate in IER-sponsored training and E-Verify training, familiarize itself with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and EEV processes, and comply with the law. (Breinigsville, PA)

On September 20, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution following a charge-based investigation into possible unfair documentary practices and retaliation by a retail food and facilities management company.  Although there was insufficient evidence of unfair documentary practices and retaliation, the investigation revealed deficiencies in the employer’s employment eligibility verification process. Under the terms of the letter of resolution, the employer voluntarily agreed to conform its employment practices to the law, ensure that its staff participates in IER-sponsored training, and familiarize itself with the rules and regulations surrounding the Form I-9 and employment eligibility verification processes. (Reston, VA)

On September 29, 2017, IER issued a letter of resolution (LOR) to a medical-industry staffing company to resolve an independent investigation into potential unfair documentary practices.  Although IER did not find reasonable cause to believe discrimination occurred, the company’s policies and practices created possible inferences of problematic behavior. The LOR acknowledges the company’s commitment to: (1) take a free IER webinar, (2) ensure that it does not request specific documents from new employees for purposes of employment eligibility verification, and (3) update its policies and procedures to clarify that an employee may choose whether to present a List A or List C document for reverification.  (Cincinnati, OH)

 

 

Updated April 20, 2018

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