You’ve been verifying I-9s since the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) took effect in 1986. You know the difference between List A, B, and C documents, and you can fill out I-9s in your sleep. Imagine your surprise to receive a letter from the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notifying you that you are being investigated for document abuse and discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process. What? Isn’t one of the purposes of Form I-9 to keep unauthorized aliens from being employed in the United States? Now you’re really confused!
The antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits four types of unlawful conduct: (1) national origin discrimination, (2) citizenship or immigration status discrimination, (3) unfair documentary practices during the Form I-9 process (document abuse), and (4) retaliation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the OSC share jurisdiction over national origin discrimination charges. The EEOC has jurisdiction over employers with 15 or more employees, while the OSC has jurisdiction over employers with more than three and fewer than 15 employees. Continue Reading »