Justice Department Settles Suit For Form I-9 Compliance Violation

Robert Capwell

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On June 21, 2010, The Justice Department announced that it has reached an agreement with Morton's of Chicago/Portland Inc. to settle allegations that it required two non-citizens authorized to work in the United States to present more documents than legally required to establish their work eligibility. Morton's fired the workers after it rejected their valid Social Security cards and demanded to see additional documentation establishing their work authorization. In contrast, Morton's routinely permitted U.S. citizens to present their Social Security cards for this purpose.

Under the terms of the out-of-court settlement, Morton's has agreed to provide full back pay of $2,880 and $5,715.62 to the two employees, pay a civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury of $2,200 and train Morton's Portland employees on federal protections for workers against citizenship status and national origin discrimination. Morton's of Chicago Inc., the parent company, has also agreed to provide complete information about properly conducting the employment eligibility verification process to its managers and employees nationwide who have any role in completing the government's Form I-9 processing to determine work authorization.

As part of the settlement, the Civil Rights Division's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) will monitor Morton's for one year to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement. OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which protects work authorized individuals against employment discrimination on the basis of citizenship status or national origin discrimination, including discrimination in the Form I-9 process.

"Our nation's laws ensure that all individuals who are authorized to work in this country can do so without fear of discrimination or retaliation because of their citizenship status or national origin," said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that all authorized U.S. workers, regardless of citizenship or national origin, are afforded equal opportunity in the workplace."

EBI Can Help Keep You Compliant
Start the I-9 process right with every new hire. EBI's Electronic Form I-9 Solution Electronic Form I-9 Solution lets you complete, sign and store all the documents electronically, complete with error-checking and guidance.  The system will also guide you through the requirements of collecting proper and compliant documentation to prove worker eligibility.  An E-Verify compliance integration is also available with our electronric Form I-9 solution to make the entire process seamless.   

Form I-9 E-Verify

Robert Capwell

Posted By: Robert Capwell

EBI’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Mr. Robert E. Capwell, is considered one of the leading experts in the background screening industry with over 22 years of experience in the field. Mr. Capwell was a contributing author of the second edition of the ASIS Pre-employment Background Screening Guidelines and has written numerous articles and whitepapers for various publications including a periodic column on background screening for The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Online. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Human Resource Executive Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, and several HR-related publications. Mr. Capwell speaks regularly to industry colleagues and HR Professionals both nationally and internationally.

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