by Mary Pivec
Employers face a high cost if they are accused of engaging in discriminatory employment verification procedures. The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Discrimination (OSC) in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made it a priority to pursue employers that allegedly misuse or abuse their access to the E-Verify program and unlawfully discriminate against applicants and employees in hiring and termination on the basis of their citizenship status or engage in document abuse.
Employers suspected of a pattern or practice of discriminatory employment verification procedures could face months of costly investigation and be forced to pay civil money penalties, back wages, and punitive damages. What’s more, they could be barred from participating in the E-Verify program, lose the right to do business in some areas, and face debarment from federal contracting rights.