The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has released a new educational video to remind employers that they should not re-verify the employment authorization of lawful permanent resident workers when their Permanent Resident Cards expire. OSC’s new video illustrates that this practice is not permissible and may lead to a violation of the anti-discrimination provision. Watch the video in Spanish and English here.
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which applies to individuals working in both the private and public sectors. An article in The New York Times reported that the State of New York paid $5 million to settle 11 sexual harassment cases between 2008 and 2010. Out of 11 of theses cases, five involved the State Department of Corrections and Community services and three involved public universities. According to the Attorney General’s Office, these cases are only a fraction of the sexual harassment cases that occurred in government or public employment workplaces.
Sometimes people filing sexual harassment claims are concerned about keeping the filing confidential. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), EEOC employees must keep the matter strictly confidential during the investigation. However, once charges are filed, the law requires the EEOC to disclose a copy of the charges to the employer and at that point all details about alleged discrimination and the person filing the charges are disclosed. The employer has the opportunity to review the information and dispute the charge.
As life shows, a person can become victim of sexual harassment at any place: big or large firm, private or public sector. Recent news on the subject just prove the point read the story here.
Frequently, victims do not go forward against their employers being afraid of scandals, future retaliation and gossips. Knowing that a person has to be considered an employee, often employers insist that the worker was a contractor trying to avoid liability. Unfortunately for the employers, in most situations, the test which is used to qualify a worker as an “employee” is a liberal one, and not only the employer will be responsible for his/her actions that went in discord with Human Rights laws, such an employer will face Tax evasion liability as well.
Traditionally, sexual harassment can take two forms: hostile work environment, and a quid pro quo harassment. Often, those two types are intermixed.
The sexual harassment allegations were subject of the recent lawsuit by police Officer Veronica Schultz.
As economic conditions change, sometimes job markets favor employees and sometimes they favor employers. The supply/demand ratio in the current market shows a greater supply than demand for employees, and unemployment rates are higher than the nation has seen for decades. Such conditions make it an employer’s market. Employers can be choosier when filling positions because the employment pool is comparatively large. Yet, similar to the 2001 recession period, these tough financial times have also seen a rise in discrimination complaints.
In January, 2012, the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) reported that employment discrimination in the private sector had hit an all time high for year-ending 2011. The EEOC reported the following employment discrimination statistics for the fiscal year 2011:
- 99,947 charges of employment discrimination
- $455.6 million in relief through the EEOC’s administrative program and litigation, which includes mediation
- A $51 million increase in relief over the past three fiscal years
- 5.4 million individuals benefiting from changes in workplace policies or practices
- Record levels for EEOC mediation program resolutions at 9,831, and $28 million more than in 2010
- 300 EEOC lawsuits resulting in $91 million in relief
The EEOC also reported that while racial and sexual discrimination allegations declined in 2011 compared to 2010, disability and age discrimination allegations increased. The Disabilities Act (ADA) produced the highest increase in monetary relief of any protected class category.
If you face workplace discrimination or harassment issues, discuss your situation with a New York immigration lawyer. Find out about your rights and get legal help to fight discrimination.
The Law Office of Alena Shautsova is an immigration law firm serving clients in Brooklyn, New York City, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and surrounding communities.
Work-authorized non-citizens brought a lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms through the Department of Justice (DOJ) that alleged discriminatory employment practices.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as explained by the DOJ, does not allow employers to require additional or other than specified documentation regarding citizenship or nationality from work-authorized employees when verifying work eligibility as part of the hiring process. The Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division stated that, “The INA’s anti-discrimination provision requires employers to treat employees equally in the employment eligibility verification process, regardless of citizenship status or national origin.”
Rose Acres used an electronic employment eligibility verification software program that may have influenced its human resources professionals to request additional documentation.
The DOJ is seeking an injunction against future discrimination by Rose Acres and demands changes be made in the company’s employment verification processes and policies. It is also seeking monetary damages on behalf of harmed individuals and requiring civil penalties be placed on the company.
Employers requesting more documentation than federally required are subject to discrimination lawsuits brought by the government.
The legal counsel for Rose Acres Farm argues that the company’s practices are not discriminatory and that they take pride in the diversity of their hiring practices where 45 percent of their employees are from minority groups and the majority of their workers are Hispanic. Rose Acres is a major egg producer, operating farms in six different U.S. states.
If you suspect workplace discrimination, a New York employment lawyer can help protect your rights. Immigration and employment are often inter-related and because our law firm deals with immigration and employment matters, we are well-versed in handling these types of issues.
The Law Office of Alena Shautsova is a New York immigration and employment law firm serving clients in Brooklyn, New York City, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and surrounding communities.