By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law



In Wilson v. Waste Connection, Inc., 13 OCAHO no. 1315 (Feb. 28, 2019), OCAHO issued a decision finding the complainant failed to prove she was discharged because of her citizenship status.

Waste Connections hired Ms. Wilson, who completed and I-9 form listing her name as Lisa Wilson. However, her Lists B and C documents, driver’s license, and Social Security card, listed her name as “Loleitha Wilson.” The HR manager failed to notice this difference until after she had submitted “Lisa Wilson” to E-Verify.

E-Verify issued a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC). Thereafter, the HR manager met with Wilson and notified her of the TNC and the right to contest it at the Social Security Administration (SSA). Wilson said she desired to contest it so the HR manager drove her to the local SSA office. Wilson said the SSA office said the employer should correct the name and re-submit, Wilson said she told the HR manager what she needed to do. Wilson replied she didn’t know how to do so. Thus, Waste Connections took no further action even though prompted to do so by E-Verify. So, E-Verify issued a final nonconfirmation (FNC) although Waste Connections did not realize this had occurred at that time.

A few months later, an informal I-9 audit showed the FNC and Wilson was terminated. Waste Connections offered to re-employ Wilson if she presented a new job application. Wilson did not do so.

Instead, Wilson filed a charge with the Immigrant and Employees Rights (IER) Section of the Department of Justice. Four months later, Wilson was informed she had the right to file a complaint with OCAHO, which she did.

On the employer’s Motion for Summary Decision, Waste Connections asserted it discharged Wilson because of the FNC, which is a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for termination. Wilson was not able to establish its reason for discharge was pretextual.

Wilson failed to establish any discrimination.

If you want to know more information on issues involving employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.