The Justice Department recently announced that it reached an agreement with a janitorial and facilities maintenance services company based in Florida resolving an employee's anti-discrimination allegations under the Immigration and Nationality Act, which is the law that governs E-Verify use.
The employee claimed that the company failed to provide proper notice and instructions for contesting an initial data mismatch (that is, the tentative non-confirmation) in E-Verify. The employee visited the Social Security Administration but did not receive the “Referral to the Social Security Administration” letter from the employer to take along. E-Verify provided a final result of a “final non-confirmation” stating that the employee was not legally eligible to work in the U.S. After receiving the final non-confirmation response from E-Verify, the company terminated the employee’s employment and the employee contacted the E-Verify hotline for help. An E-Verify agent notified the employer that the employee was authorized to work, but the company did not reinstate the employee.
The Immigration and Nationality Act protects employees from discriminatory practices in the employment eligibility verification process, including E-Verify, and prohibits employers from retaliating against individuals who assert their rights or oppose a practice that is illegal under that law. The settlement agreement between the Justice Department and the company requires the company to pay $6,800 in monetary relief along with a $2,000 civil penalty to the employee. The company has also agreed to training by the Department of Homeland Security on proper E-Verify procedures and the Justice Department on the anti-discrimination provision of the law.