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March 27, 2017

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E-Verify Alone Will Not Protect Your Company: Food Processing Company Fined for Alleged Discrimination

May 25, 2017

 

Many employers have a false sense of security that they are automatically protected from liability if they use electronic I-9s and/or E-verify, but they fail to consider that both of these systems will fail when used by an untrained I-9/E-verify administrator.

 

Immigration Compliance Training is crucial for teaching HR professionals how to properly execute an I-9 and run an E-verify case without violating the INA’s antidiscrimination provisions.

 

Washington based fruit and vegetable processing company agrees to pay over $225,000 in civil penalties, to provide specific immigration compliance training to its HR department, to post antidiscrimination information for workers, and to be subject to government monitoring and reporting requirements for two and a half years for alleged discrimination during the I-9 process. 

 

Background:

The United States, through the Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) section of the department of justice, filed a complaint against Washington Potato Company (WPC), and its joint venture partner, Pasco Processing, LLC (Pasco), for allegedly requesting that lawful permanent residents present their lawful permanent resident card for I-9 and E-verify purposes. 

 

Requesting that work authorized non-citizens present specific documents during the I-9/E-verify process, while allowing US Citizens to choose which documents to present from the list of acceptable I-9 documents, constitutes illegal discrimination prohibited by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA.)

In its complaint, the government adds that Pasco is registered for and uses E-verify. 

 

All E-verify participants are required to sign a specific Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) stating that they will “become familiar with and comply with the most recent version of the E-Verify user manual the [M-775],” a 77 page document.  Pasco’s HR Administrators signed this agreement, which includes language specifically prohibiting employers participating in E-verify from requesting which Form I-9 documentation a newly hired employee must use. 

 

Although the requesting of specific documents is clearly prohibited by the INA, the complaint’s specific mention that this employer was an E-verify user seems to indicate that the employer was held to an even higher standard. 

 

Many employers have a false sense of security that they are automatically protected from liability if they use electronic I-9s and/or E-verify, but they fail to consider that both of these systems will fail when used by an untrained I-9/E-verify administrator.

 

Immigration Compliance Training is crucial for teaching HR professionals how to properly execute an I-9 and run an E-verify case without violating the INA’s antidiscrimination provisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leyla McMullen. Business Immigration Attorney
MDIVANI CORPORATE IMMIGRATION LAW FIRM
www.uslegalimmigration.com  

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