By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

In A.S. v. Amazon Webservices Inc., 14 OCAHO no. 13681e (Apr. 27, 2021), the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) issued a procedural order refusing to amend its order to dismiss a citizenship status claim and limiting the evidence to establish a retaliation claim.

On June 12, 2020, A.S. filed a 487-page complaint with OCAHO in which he provided numerous cross-references to different sections, documents, tables, and various emails as exhibits. In the complaint, A.S. alleged Amazon Webservices discriminated against him based on his citizenship status and retaliated against him in violation of § 1324b. Respondent filed an Answer on August 27, 2020 and a Motion to Dismiss on March 1, 2021. In its motion to dismiss, Amazon Webservices sought dismissal of the citizenship status discrimination claim because the complaint did not raise an inference of discrimination. A.S. responded to the motion to dismiss.

On April 7, 2021, OCAHO issued an Order and determined A.S. failed to meet his burden at the pleading phase with respect to citizenship discrimination and dismissed those portions of his complaint. In that decision, OCAHO found a June 15, 2019 email sent from A.S. to Amazon Human Resources “raises the specter of citizenship discrimination” because the email references hiring actions, one of the personnel actions available for OCAHO consideration under § 1324b(a)(1).” Specifically, the email states:
I strongly believe this is discrimination on the basis of citizenship as US citizens are not getting opportunities for training as well as advancement. It’s not equal opportunities for US workers. Any job positions (even if the employer is not H1B dependent) there should be serious efforts to hire US citizens who are either better or equally qualified than foreign workers. Only in case when the US workers are not found or not up to the mark then foreign workers should be tried out.
However, OCAHO stated other emails did not raise citizenship discrimination issues and refused to consider them in the ongoing litigation.

On April 14, 2021, A.S. filed a Motion to Amend the April 7, 2021 Order and argued his complaint raises an inference of citizenship status discrimination and he identified specific instances in a prehearing statement he attached to his complaint which he asserted give rise to citizenship discrimination. OCAHO found, “The facts referenced and arguments made by Complainant (A.S.) were all available to him at the time he responded to the motion to dismiss, which was the appropriate time for Complainant to raise such facts and make such arguments. Complainant provides no good cause for his failure to raise these facts and make these arguments prior to the issuance of the Court’s order. Complainant’s failure to timely raise these facts in defense of his Complaint is now fatal because motions for reconsideration do not provide a second chance to re-litigate a previously decided issue as doing so would cause ‘the perpetual reexamination of orders’ and ‘disserve the interest of justice.’” Thus, OCAHO denied the Motion to Amend.

If you want to know more information on immigration compliance, including citizenship status discrimination and retaliation, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at