In a press release dated July 8, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice states the following:
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.
√ About Seena Foster
Seena Foster, award-winning civil rights author and Partner of the discrimination consulting firm, Title VI Consulting, LLP in Alexandria, Virginia, provides expertise and guidance in the areas of compliance and civil rights investigations to state and local governments, colleges and universities, private companies, and non-profit organizations. To that end, she offers Webinars, full-day and half-day in-person training sessions, assistance developing procedures, and mediation services addressing a variety of types of discrimination such as racial discrimination, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, age discrimination, and religious discrimination. The federal law on discrimination is complex and affects our workplaces as well as the delivery of our federally funded programs and activities. Her book, Civil Rights Investigations Under the Workforce Investment Act and Other Title VI Related Laws: From Intake to Final Determination, has been described as an “eye-opening” reading experience and a “stand-alone” training resource. Ms. Foster’s resources and materials are designed to support the work of civil rights and discrimination professionals in the public and private sectors. You may contact her through www.titleviconsulting.com.