This week the Justice Department announced a partnership between its Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). A memorandum of understanding allows the two agencies to share information, refer matters to each other, and coordinate investigations as appropriate. According to the Justice Department, this arrangement will prevent employers from avoiding liability "just because an employee has turned to the wrong agency or is unaware of additional protections available under a different law." Both the NLRB and the OSC have similar agreements with other governmental agencies, including the EEOC.
This new arrangement is a reminder to employers facing NLRB charges that they should look beyond the labor issues when responding and ensure that any documents or responses they provide to the NLRB also comply with all applicable discrimination and immigration laws. Otherwise an employer may inadvertently trigger a charge with another agency.