The Justice Department and the government of Honduras announced a formal partnership to protect workers from discrimination based on citizenship, immigration status and national origin. On December 7, 2016, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Honduran Charge D’Affaires Luís F. Cordero signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the embassy and its consulates and the Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC).

The following is an excerpt of the Memorandum of Understanding. Go to https://www.justice.gov/crt/page/file/917476/download for the complete document.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING REGARDING WORKER PROTECTIONS AGAINST EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON CITIZENSHIP, IMMIGRATION STATUS, OR NATIONAL ORIGIN BETWEEN

THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR IMMIGRATION-RELATED UNFAIR
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES

AND

THE SECRETARIAT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL
COOPERATION OF HONDURAS

The U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Honduras (The Secretariat), hereinafter referred to as “the Participants”;
Recognizing that OSC enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, which prohibits (1) citizenship, immigration status, and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral of workers for a fee; (2) unfair documentary practices during the process of verifying workers’ employment eligibility; and (3) retaliation for asserting rights under the statute;
Considering that the Honduran Consulates provide services to Honduran nationals and support the rights of such nationals, including their rights under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA; and

Bearing in mind the importance of establishing and maintaining intergovernmental partnerships for the purposes of training, educating the public, increasing access to OSC’s services and resources, and referring allegations of discrimination to the proper agency; Have reached the following understandings:

Section I
Objective

The objective of this MOU is to recognize the collaborative relationship between the Participants to protect Honduran workers in the United States from employment discrimination in hiring, firing and recruiting or referring for a fee based on their citizenship, immigration status, and
national origin; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation.

Section II
Scope

To achieve the objective of this MOU, the Participants, consistent with their respective resources, legal authority and obligations, intend to continue to collaborate to:

1. Provide Honduran nationals with information, guidance, and access to education and training resources to help them understand their rights under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § l 324b.
2. Facilitate the referral of appropriate allegations of discrimination, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation to OSC for investigation under 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.

Section III
Responsibilities of the Participants

Consistent with their respective resources, legal authority, and obligations, the Participants intend to continue to work together to achieve the following goals:

For OSC:
1. Conducting training on the application and enforcement of 8 U.S.C. § 1324b at a mutually determined time and place to appropriate Consular staff identified by each Honduran Consulate.
2. Attending and participating in appropriate forums organized by the Honduran Consulates for Honduran nationals and employers involving topics under OSC’s jurisdiction.
3. Disseminating compliance and educational materials through the Embassy to the Honduran Consulates and its stakeholders in other locations.
4. Publicizing this MOU to interested parties.

For the Secretariat:
l. Establishing a system for referring discrimination, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation allegations to OSC based on OSC’s guidance for the referral of allegations.
2. Consulting periodically with OSC to ensure that the Honduran Consulates are referring discrimination, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation allegations in accordance with OSC’s guidance for referrals.