Department of Justice Settles with Janitorial Services Company over Alleged INA Violations Involving E-Verify

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached an agreement with a janitorial services provider based in Tampa, Florida to resolve allegations the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by failing to fully reinstate an employee contesting an initial data mismatch in the federal E-Verify employment eligibility verification system. A news release from the DOJ about the settlement is available at: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/September/12-crt-1169.html.

According to the DOJ news release:  “The charging party alleged that the company failed to provide the employee with proper notice and instructions for contesting an initial data mismatch in E-Verify, resulting in E-Verify issuing an erroneous final response that she was not work authorized.”  Under the terms of the settlement, the janitorial services company has agreed to pay $6,800 in monetary relief to the injured party and to training by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on E-Verify procedures.

After receiving verbal notice of the initial data mismatch and instructions from her supervisor, the DOJ news release reports the employee alleged that the supervisor failed to give her the proper E-Verify paperwork which would have enabled the Social Security Administration (SSA) to resolve the mismatch. The E-Verify program then provided an erroneous response of “final nonconfirmation” to the employer that stated the woman was not eligible to work in the U.S. and so the company terminated her.

The DOJ news release also reports the company refused to reinstate the woman after she contacted the E-Verify hotline for help, allegedly because she asserted her right to work under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, which protects employees from discriminatory practices in the employment eligibility verification process – including E-Verify – and prohibits employers from retaliating against individuals who assert their rights or oppose a practice that is illegal under the provision.

E-Verify is a free Internet-based system run by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that confirms employment eligibility by comparing information from the Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9 all new hires in the U.S. must fill out to information in DHS and SSA databases. While E-Verify is voluntary, federal law mandates that federal contractors and subcontractors use E-Verify and several states have also enacted laws mandating E-Verify use, creating a confusing patchwork of regulations.

A Designated E-Verify Employer Agent can help employers with Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance. To learn more, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php. For information about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check Authority’ and nationwide background screening firm accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – at http://www.esrcheck.com/, call Toll Free 888.999.4474, or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

Source:
http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/September/12-crt-1169.html

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Founded by safe hiring expert Attorney Les Rosen in 1997, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – ‘The Background Check AuthoritySM’– provides accurate and actionable information that empowers employers to make informed hiring decisions for the benefit of their organizations, employees, and the public. CEO Rosen literally wrote the book on background checks with “The Safe Hiring Manual” and ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), a distinction held by a small percent of screening firms. Employers choosing ESR know they have selected an agency meeting the highest industry standards. To learn more, visit http://www.esrcheck.com, call 888.999.4474, or email customerservice@esrcheck.com.

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