Saturday, November 2, 2013
On October 29, 2013 the state of Alabama agreed to settle the remaining challenges over its toughest-in-the-nation crackdown against illegal immigration, which has mostly been gutted by federal court decisions. The state and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a proposed settlement that would end a federal lawsuit over the law passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2011, and the state separately filed documents to end a similar suit filed by the Justice Department. Federal courts later blocked main sections, including a one-of-a-kind provision that public schools must check students’ citizenship status. Courts have blocked key parts of similar immigration laws in Arizona, Georgia and South Carolina and other states. The Alabama agreement also means a so-called “show me your papers” provision that allowed police to ask for citizenship documents cannot lead to detentions, as many immigrants had feared. The agreement permanently blocks sections of the law that were temporarily stopped by courts. The State also agreed to pay $350,000 in attorney fees and expenses for groups that sued to block the law. The deal followed the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year rejecting Alabama’s appeal to revive parts of the law, which supporters and opponents billed as the nation’s toughest against illegal immigration.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMonday, July 8, 2013
Justice Department Enters into Memorandum of Understanding with National Labor Relations Board
The Justice Department announced today that the Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Labor Relations Board, formalizing a collaborative relationship that allows both agencies to share information, refer matters to each other and coordinate investigations as appropriate. OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee, as well as discriminatory Form I-9 and E-Verify practices. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is an independent agency that enforces the National Labor Relations Act, which protects the rights of most private-sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions.
The MOU will allow the NLRB to make referrals to OSC, with the express authority of the NLRB charging party, when a matter before the NLRB suggests a possible violation of the anti-discrimination provision, such as verification of employment authorization, in the I-9 or E-Verify process, that appears to be discriminatory based on citizenship status or national origin. Similarly, the department will refer matters to the NLRB that appear to fall within that agency’s authority, such as infringement on the right to form, join, decertify or assist a labor organization, and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing or to refrain from such activities. The MOU also provides for cross-training and technical assistance to ensure that staff within each agency can identify appropriate referrals. OSC has more than 50 partnership agreements with federal, state and local agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“Employers cannot avoid liability under the law just because an employee has turned to the wrong agency or is unaware of additional protections available under a different law. Employees deserve to benefit from the efficiency of government cooperation, and employers will continue to benefit from agency guidance on how to comply with the anti-discrimination provision and the National Labor Relations Act,” said Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2525, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a free one-hour webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php, email OSC at email@example.com, or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.
Posted by Tommy Eden at 8:33 AM
Monday, May 6, 2013
I-9 compliance, which many small business owners in particular already find difficult, will get harder when the new form goes into effect, said
Three organizations — the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the National Federation of Independent Business in Alabama and the law firm — are partnering to offer free comprehensive online training to help business owners comply with the new requirements.
The training, titled “Untangling the New Form I-9,” is available at aces.edu/events.
For many business owners, especially small business owners, the stakes couldn’t be higher, said
“It’s absolutely critical that employers and employees alike understand this,” Elebash said. “It’s double the work — two pages instead of one — but it’s the penalty provisions that are most alarming. Business owners who don’t fill out these forms correctly are likely to be penalized pretty substantially.”
I-9 compliance procedures are an outgrowth of the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986, which makes it unlawful for employers to knowingly hire or continue to employ individuals who are not legally authorized to work in the
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
April 4, 2013 – Tommy Eden, Will Krasnow and Sul Kim
April 16, 2013 – Tommy Eden and Falon Wrigley
April 18, 2013 – Tommy Eden and Jonathan Martin
April 26, 2013 – Tommy Eden, Nancy Leonard and Jimmy Nolanhttps://constangyec.webex.com/constangyec/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=74874422&rKey=f0be481e8ed526b3
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Monday, April 8, 2013
ICE 2012 Audits at all Time High
By: Tommy Eden, Attorney
Last year was the busiest year on record for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits of employers' Form I-9s. Investigations, fines and arrests grew dramatically for I-9 violations and the numbers breakdown as follows:
10 Fold Increase in Audits Since 2009: In fiscal year 2007, ICE conducted only 250 audits. In contrast in 2012, ICE I-9 audits rose to more than 3,000.
13 Fold Increase in Fines Since 2009: From 2009 until 2012, fines for I-9 violations grew from $1 million to $13 million. Easy fine money for ICE auditors.
Increased Arrests: The number of company owners, executives and managers arrested during ICE investigations increased to 238.
Industries and Small Businesses Targeted: ICE has made a determined effort to audit companies of all sizes and in all industries ranging from General Electric to a small Subway franchise have been fined for I-9 violations. ICE publicized the conviction of a Dunkin' Donuts manager who knowingly hired unauthorized workers and was sentenced to house arrest. Texas had the highest number of ICE workplace fines in 2011, followed by New Jersey.
ICE Notice of Intent to Fine Process: Employers do have options to defend against an ICE notice of intent to fine (NIF). An employer who receives a NIF may appeal within stated deadlines to the U.S. Department of Justice and request a hearing before the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer. If ICE pursues the case after a hearing is requested, an Administrative Law Judge will hear the matter. For a company contacted by ICE for an audit having legal representation during the investigation or appeal stage can be beneficial.
Reduction of Fine Procedure: Recent decisions after appeal have led to substantial reductions in the fines that were assessed by ICE. Companies issued NIFs have the option to appeal in an effort to reduce the impact of I-9 violations claimed against them.
Private Audits Advisable Before ICE Knocks: The best advice to employers is to begin 2013 with an internal audit of I-9 records - before the employer receives a notice or subpoena from ICE. An audit of I-9s conducted by a qualified professional is a risk reduction investment in creating a compliance program that can prevent I-9 violations, fines and arrests.
Common Sense Counsel: Training on how to properly complete the new Form I-9 is easy and will help you avoid fines and penalties after May 7, 2013. Tommy Eden of the Constangy Firm and Rosemary Elebash, Alabama State Director of the NFIB did a Webinar on Untangling the New Form I-9 Training for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System which link is at www.immigrationalabamalaw.com as are the new Forms and Employer Handbook.
Link to Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP Webinar – Untangling the New Form I-9 with 3 Constangy Attorneys