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Settlement Against Processing Facility in Discrimination of Lawful Permanent Residents

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On May 17, 2017, a settlement agreement between Pasco Processing, LLC and Washington Potato Company and the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) was formalized pertaining to discrimination of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). The matter began back in December 2014, when the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section opened an investigation against the processing facility. Through its investigation, the OSC determined that the processing facility had engaged in a pattern of discrimination through unfair documentary practices between November 1, 2013 and October 16, 2016. Specifically, the processing facility required LPRs to present specific documents during the Form I-9 completion process. In other words, the processing facility treated these non-U.S. citizens differently based upon their citizenship/immigration status.

During the Form I-9 completion process, an employer cannot require an employee to produce specific documentation, no matter their immigration or citizenship status. The employee is permitted to choose any document or combination of documents specified in the “Lists of Acceptable Documents” attached to the Form I-9. If an employee produces acceptable documents, the employer cannot request additional documents to verify employment eligibility, so long as the documents appear genuine on their face. As the processing facility did not follow this protocol, it now has to pay $225,750 in civil penalties, pursuant to the settlement agreement with the OSC.

This case is an example of how the actions of Human Resources personnel related to the Form I-9 verification process can affect the entire organization. If you do not want to find your organization under the close watch of the government, you need to ensure that all individuals responsible for Form I-9 completion have thorough knowledge and solid understanding of the process’ requirements and limitations.

GoffWilson offers personalized Form I-9 training depending on an organization’s needs. On our website, you can find a downloadable I-9 Retention Worksheet, Completion Timeline, Acceptable Document List, and more.  Check it out here. Contact our office today for more I-9 information. We are here to help!
Filed under:Form I-9 Compliance, Immigration Law