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OSC Advises on How to Proceed After Over-Documenting Employees

The Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) recently responded to a request for guidance on how to proceed after discovering that a company had accepted more documentation than necessary for Form I-9 employment verification purposes in a few cases.

OSC noted that it is unaware of any publicly available guidance issued by any agency regarding steps an employer should take if it accepts too many documents during the I-9 process.  However, OSC pointed out that an employer may violate the Immigration and Nationality Act if it requests more or different documents than required, or rejects "reasonably genuine-looking documents" on the basis of citizenship or immigration status or on the basis of national origin during the I-9 process.  OSC also noted that although an employer should correct its practices upon learning that it may have violated the antidiscrimination provision of the INA, an employee who believes that he or she was the victim of discriminatory I-9 practices has up to 180 days from the date of the practice to file a charge with the OSC.  OSC advised the inquiring employer to see http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc or call its toll-free employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 to learn about resources available to assist human resources staff in complying with the provision in the future, including "free webinar training by our office or distribution of educational materials to your staff."  The OSC noted that it cannot provide an advisory opinion on any specific case or set of facts.


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