By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser PC

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The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached a settlement with Nebraska Beef Ltd., an Omaha meat packing company. The OSC’s investigation found that the company required non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to present specific documentary proof of their immigration status to verify their employment eligibility. The Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from making documentary demands based on citizenship or national origin when verifying an employee’s authorization to work.

Under the settlement agreement, Nebraska Beef will pay a $200,000 civil penalty to the United States and will establish an uncapped back pay fund to compensate individuals who lost wages because of the company’s practices. In so doing, it must notify numerous applicants and employees about a possible back pay claim. Additionally, the settlement requires the company to undergo compliance monitoring for two years, train its employees on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and to review and revise its office policies.