The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) investigates and prosecutes allegations of national origin and citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, as well as unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process and retaliation under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). In addition, OSC conducts outreach aimed at educating employers, workers and the general public about their rights and responsibilities under the INA's anti-discrimination provision.
Inside this Issue:
OSC's Recent Enforcement Activities
On April 9, 2013, OSC entered into a settlement agreement with a national residential property management firm that improperly reverified the documentation of lawful permanent residents when their documentation expired but did not reverify the expired documentation of other permanently work-authorized individuals.
On March 25, 2013, OSC entered into a settlement agreement with a Georgia pecan supplier that required more or specific documentation from work-authorized non-U.S. citizens than from U.S. citizens when completing the Form I-9 and the employment eligibility verification process.
On February 28, 2013, OSC entered into a settlement agreement with an Illinois staffing agency that treated work-authorized non-U.S. citizens differently during the employment eligibility verification and E-Verify process. OSC began investigating through a referral from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under a memorandum of agreement between the Civil Rights Division and USCIS.
On February 20, 2013, OSC entered into a settlement agreement with a national retail florist that retaliated against a worker after he alleged unfair documentary practices and expressed his intention to assert his rights under the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Photo: OSC Attorney, Liza Zamd, at an outreach event in San Juan, Puerto Rico for the Dominican Alliance.
OSC Partnerships with Fair Employment Practices Agencies
Since its creation, OSC has entered into more than 50 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with state and local fair employment practices agencies (FEPAs). Most recently, OSC has sought to reinvigorate these relationships and develop new MOU partnerships nationwide. To that end, OSC has developed a form designed to assist FEPAs in identifying and referring matters to OSC (for more information visit OSC's website). Partnerships with FEPAs strengthen OSC's working relationship with community organizations and allow OSC to better identify and investigate employers that engage in discriminatory employment practices in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Recently, OSC entered into new MOUs with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, and the City of Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission (Fort Wayne, IN). Over the past few years, OSC has also provided training to and revitalized MOUs with organizations located in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Tennessee. In addition to its formal MOU agreements, OSC also welcomes opportunities to meet with FEPA staff to discuss OSC's work and employer obligations and employee protections under the anti-discrimination provision. In March of this year, OSC's Deputy Special Counsel presented to FEPA representatives at a training session in the mid-Atlantic region. OSC looks forward to continuing its relationships with FEPAs and to pursuing additional partnerships and educational opportunities in the future.
If your agency is interested in exploring an MOU partnership with OSC or in scheduling staff training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New FORM I-9
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a new version of the Form I-9. The Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of workers hired for employment in the U.S. Beginning on May 7, 2013 only the new version, dated 03/08/13, will be accepted for the purposes of the employment verification process. While employers do not have to submit the Form I-9 to USCIS or ICE, they are required to keep a Form I-9 for each person on payroll for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. For a summary of changes and a chance to speak with OSC about the new Form I-9 join us for an upcoming webinar or call our hotlines: Employer Line 1-800-255-8155, Worker Line 1-800-255-7688, or TTY 1-800-237-2515.
OSC's Recently Released Educational Video
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has released a new educational video in English and Spanish to remind employers that they should not reverify the employment authorization of lawful permanent resident workers when their Permanent Resident Cards expire. OSC's new video illustrates that this practice is not permissible and may lead to a violation of the anti-discrimination provision. Watch the Spanish Language Video here, or watch the same video subtitled in English here. This latest OSC video is part of OSC's series of educational videos launched last year through the Justice Department's YouTube channel.
OSC offers a variety of educational tools for employers and workers in addition to its educational video series. Through its hotline program and webinars, OSC frequently provides guidance to employers on how to avoid discrimination and educates employees on rights protected by the anti-discrimination provision. For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration law, call OSC's worker hotline at: 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2525, TTY for the hearing impaired); call OSC's employer hotline at: 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-362-2735, TTY for the hearing impaired); sign up for a free webinar; or visit OSC's website http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.
How Can You Work With OSC?
Email OSC at email@example.com to request:
• A customized webinar or a live presentation for your company or organization.
• An OSC article for your company or organization's newsletter.
• Outreach materials to distribute in your waiting room, at one of your conferences, or in your community.
OSC Webinar Schedule
May 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm EST: OSC "en Español" Worker/Advocate webinar (in Spanish!)
May 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm EST: OSC Worker/Advocate webinar
June 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm EST: OSC Worker/Advocate webinar
June 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm EST: OSC Employer/HR Representative webinar
June 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm EST: OSC "en Español" Worker/Advocate webinar (in Spanish!)
July 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm EST: OSC Worker/Advocate webinar
July 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm EST: OSC Employer/HR Representative webinar
July 30, 2013 at 3:30 pm EST: OSC "en Español" Worker/Advocate webinar (in Spanish!)
Main Number: (202)616-5594
Fax Number: (202)616-5509
Deputy Special Counsel
Special Litigation Counsel
C. Sebastian Aloot
Special Policy Counsel
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United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division