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U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

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Presentation on theme: "U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

2 Investigates and prosecutes employment discrimination on the basis of citizenship status and national origin, which is prohibited by the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration & Nationality Act. 8 U.S.C. § 1324b Prohibited unfair employment practices extend to discrimination in employment eligibility verification (I-9 and E-Verify) Provision was created by the Immigration Reform & Control Act (IRCA) in 1986 Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: What Does OSC Do?

3 Presentation Overview Citizenship Status v. National Origin Discrimination Discrimination in Employment Eligibility Verification - Everify OSC Enforcement OSC-State/Local FEPA MOU OSC Resources EEOC Immigrant Worker Team EEOC Work on National Origin/Document Issues Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

4 Citizenships Status National Origin Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Co., 414 U.S. 86 (1973) Facts: Plaintiffs alleged discrimination based on Mexican national origin where the employer had a US citizen only hiring policy. But more than 96% of the employees were of Mexican descent. Held:Congress did not intend the term national origin to embrace citizenship requirements. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

5 Citizenships Status National Origin Espinoza v. Farah Mfg. Co., 414 U.S. 86 (1973) BUT… an employer might use a citizenship test as a pretext to disguise what is in fact national-origin discrimination. And…Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship whenever it has the purpose or effect of discriminating on the basis of national origin. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

6 Citizenships Status Discrimination under IRCA Treating workers differently based on citizenship status Unless required or permitted by law Hiring/firing workers, or in recruitment or referral of workers for a fee Employers with 4 or more workers are covered Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

7 Who is Protected from Citizenship Status Discrimination? Protected: U.S. citizens Recent lawful permanent residents Asylees Refugees Not Protected: Non-Immigrant visa holders Asylum applicants Lawful permanent residents who have not applied for naturalization within 6 months of their eligibility Undocumented workers Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

8 Federal Courts Interpreting Espinoza Guimaraes v. Supervalue, 674 F.3d 962 (8th Cir. 2012): Plaintiff alleged national origin discrimination based on her discharge. Statement that supervisor was trying to interfere with green card process did not establish discriminatory animus based on national origin. While it could constitute intent to terminate based on citizenship status, nothing in [Title VII] makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of citizenship status or alienage. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

9 Citizenship Status or National Origin Discrimination? A foreign born workers are required to fill out paperwork in addition to the Form I-9 identifying their country of origin and to provide naturalization papers, if available. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

10 Citizenship Status or National Origin Discrimination? Amina is a refugee from Africa and applies for a job at XYZ retail. She meets all the job requirements except for one in the ad that states, U.S. citizenship required. The investigation reveals that XYZ employs several work- authorized non-citizens of Northern European descent. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

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12 Treating employees differently based on national origin Hiring/firing workers, or in recruitment or referral of workers for a fee Extends to small employers that are not covered by Title VII (4-14 workers) National Origin Discrimination under IRCA Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

13 Who is Protected from National Origin Discrimination? Protected: All work authorized individuals Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Not Protected: Undocumented workers

14 Discrimination in Employment Eligibility Verification: What is Document Abuse? Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

15 Definition of Document Abuse Employers may not, for the purpose of verifying a workers employment eligibility: request more or different document reject reasonably genuine-looking documents, specify certain documents based on citizenship status or national origin Employers with 4 or more workers are covered Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

16 Who is Protected from Document Abuse? Protected: All work authorized individuals Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Not Protected: Undocumented individuals

17 Document Abuse Examples Requiring only non-U.S. citizens to provide a List A document, such as a Green Card Requiring new U.S. citizens to provide certificates of naturalization Requiring all Latinos to provide a Social Security Card Reverifying green cards (Form I-551) Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

18 Discrimination or Not? An employer decides to do an internal audit of all of its I-9s. It starts with the warehouse department, where most workers are Latino. The I-9s are a complete mess, so all employees are required to complete new ones. Employees who cannot produce a document within three days are fired. The employer never gets around to the rest of the audit. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

19 Retaliation or Intimidation Protection for people who: file a charge with OSC cooperate with an OSC investigation contest action that may constitute unfair documentary practices assert rights under the INA's anti-discrimination provision from intimidation, threats, coercion, and retaliation. Employers with 4 or more workers are covered Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

20 Comparison OSC and EEOC Jurisdiction Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: No terms and condition of employment No undocumented workers No disparate impact No compensatory damages Civil penalties OCAHO, not federal court

21 What is E-Verify Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Internet-based program available to employers that verifies an employees employment eligibility Program compares Form I-9 information with Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases With limited exceptions, used for new hires only, not existing employees OSC investigates discriminatory use of E-Verify

22 E-Verify Statistics 2011 Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

23 E-Verify Program Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Employers who use E-Verify must use it for all new hires A worker who receives a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) has the right to contest it Employers cannot take any adverse action against a worker while the worker is resolving the TNC Call OSC to discuss whether an employer may be discriminating in the use of E-Verify

24 Discrimination or Not? Employer (not a federal contractor) signs up for E- Verify. In response to heightened ICE activity, the Employer decides to run existing employees that look like they might be undocumented through E-Verify. The investigation reveals that most but not all the workers are in fact undocumented. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

25 Other Verification - Discrimination or Not? An employer decides that E-Verify is too complicated and instead conducts a background check on all employees before hire. Employees whose Social Security numbers do not match are not considered, but the employer has given a few American-looking women an opportunity to revolve the issue. These women were in fact U.S. citizens who had not updated their Social Security records after they married. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

26 OSC can investigate employers in one of two ways: Charge-Based – OSC investigates charges of discrimination filed by injured parties or their representatives OSC-Initiated – OSC can open independent investigation if OSC believes that an employer may have engaged in unfair immigration-related employment practices Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: OSC Enforcement

27 If no settlement or dismissal: OSC files Complaint before Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Office (OCAHO), Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Charging Party may file own complaint before OCAHO 120 days after charge is filed. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Possible Outcomes of an OSC Investigation

28 Hotline Intervention Allows us to help workers directly and intervene informally on their behalf Callers can remain anonymous if they wish and can ask to speak in any language Open 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday (Eastern) Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

29 FEPA and OSC MOU Purpose is to ensure that matters within the jurisdiction of either agency are referred Provides that where both agencies are investigating a charge arising from the same facts, the agencies will coordinate their investigations and share information Appoint each agency to serve as respective agents for the other to allow charging parties to file charges to satisfy statutory time limits Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline:

30 Enhances the ability of both agencies to help more individuals – referrals Allows each agency to access remedies of the other agency (e.g., OSC can obtain civil penalties) Helps each agency obtain efficient global relief for the victim Provides each agency with enhanced investigative resources in coordinated investigation situations Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Benefits of the MOU

31 OSC has an MOU with: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs 49 state and local partners in 36 states and territories Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Do YOU have an MOU with OSC? Every OSC MOU can be found on our website. Contact OSC to discuss a possible MOU.

32 Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: How can we work together? Training investigators and attorneys on how to identify possible referrals to OSC Distributing each agencys materials to individuals who may need our services Identifying speaking opportunities and inviting each other to speak at conferences and outreach events Increasing Collaboration Between OSC, EEOC, and FEPAs

33 Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices: Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Live or webinar training for your staff Send representative to your outreach events, or provide OSC public education materials Provide technical assistance on document abuse, E- Verify issues, and immigration status Discuss a potential referral by sending to or contacting me directly at or (202) Resources of OSC

34 A. Baltazar Baca Office of Special Counsel for Immigration- Related Unfair Employment Practices IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO WORK, DONT LET ANYONE TAKE IT AWAY. Employer Hotline: Worker Hotline: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices:

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