• An Administrative Law Judge has approved a settlement agreement in which Maryland's Prince George's County Public School System will be debarred for two years from filing H-1B, PERM or immigrant petitions; will pay over $4M in back wages to more than 1,000 employees; and will pay a civil penalty of $100,000. This comes after a finding that the school system violated provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), including willful failure to pay wages and maintain documentation as required under the H-1B and Labor Condition Application ("LCA") programs.
  • The Department of Justice's Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer has found that Ketchikan Drywall Services, a Washington state business, engaged in more than 200 separate violations of the I-9 rules and ordered the company to pay $173,250 in penalties, even though the company had no history of prior related violations and none of the employees in question were found to be unauthorized workers. The monetary penalty assessed stemmed purely from the company's failure to properly complete Forms I-9 or, in some instances, to even have a Form I-9 on file for certain employees. The government's investigation began with a Notice of Inspection requesting provision of the company's Forms I-9 and any attached documents presented at the time of I-9 completion. Employers are reminded that the government continues to utilize I-9 audits as an enforcement tool and they should seek immigration counsel immediately upon receipt of any notification requesting immigration documents.
  • The Department of Justice's recently issued press release announces that it filed a lawsuit against Generations Healthcare, a skilled nursing healthcare provider in California, alleging that the company engaged in discriminatory practices by holding naturalized U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens to higher documentary requirements than the law allows. According to the government's investigation, the company demanded particular and additional documents for the I-9 employment eligibility verification process (e.g., asking the individual to produce a "green card"; rejecting a valid employment authorization document), both of which are prohibited under the INA's anti-discrimination provisions.