Employment News

Two Illinois Company Officers Charged with Hiring Illegal Aliens

April 26, 2010 - Charges were filed against the President and Office Manager of two Chicago suburban companies that allegedly supplied temporary workers to suburban warehouses. It is alleged that the 2 suburban staffing companies knowingly hired illegal aliens, sent them to work in various suburban locations, paid the workers in cash and failed to deduct and/or remit employment taxes in connection with those employees.

The charges resulted from investigations conducted by ICE and U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General. If convicted, unlawfully hiring illegal aliens carries a maximum penalty of five (5) years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

pdf [Read The ICE News Release On the Charges For Illegal Alien Hiring]

San Diego Bakery Charged for Hiring Undocumented Workers, Form I-9 Violations

April 21, 2010 - A San Diego Area-French bakery, its owner and manager have been charged in a 16-count indictment for hiring undocumented aliens as workers. The indictments resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during which it found that the business knowingly hired undocumented workers. The indictment alleges that the defendants conspired to engage in a pattern or practice of hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized workers. Charges were also entered for making false statements and shielding undocumented alien employees from detection.

It is further alleged that the Defendants engaged in I-9 compliance violations by certifying that said undocumented workers presented documents showing eligibility to work even though they had received "no match" letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In addition to criminal penalties and a fine, the indictment seeks criminal forfeiture of proceeds gained from the corporation's unlawful activities.

pdf [Read The ICE News Release On the Indictment for Hiring Undocumented Workers]

ICE To Shift Focus to Prosecution of Employers Who Knowingly Hire Illegal Workers

April 30, 2009 - The Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum announcing a shift in worksite enforcement strategy by ICE. Under this new policy, ICE will focus enforcement on prosecuting employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. ICE will also look for the mistreatment of workers. This policy will not emphasize workplace raids.
pdf [Review the ICE Worksite Enforcement Policy Change].

ICE Launches Stepped Up Audits of I-9 Employment Verification Records

July 1, 2009 - The USCIS has served 652 businesses with audit notices by issuing Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 652 businesses nationwide. This bold initiative by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the largest initiative ever pursued by ICE in such a period.

The notices alert businesses that ICE will be inspecting their hiring records to determine whether the businesses are complying with the I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements. The businesses that are subject to the notices were selected based on leads and information obtained through other investigative means.

pdf [Read the USCIS Memorandum Regarding the Audit Notices]

Employer Strictly Liable for Sexual Harassment by Supervisor - Ill Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme court has issued a ruling in a sexual harassment case involving harassment by a supervisory employee. The Court ruled that an employer is liable for its supervisor?s sexual harassment whether or not the supervisor is in the victim?s chain of command. The liability is also strict even where the supervisory employee has no power to affect the terms and conditions of the victim?s employment. As such, it does not matter whether the harassing supervisor or manager has the power to hire, fire, discipline, promote or demote employees. Under the ruling, sexual harassment by anyone employed in the position of supervisor or manager will result in direct liability for the employer under the Illinois Human Rights Act.

The Illinois Supreme Court reached this conclusion by relying on the plain language of the Illinois Human Rights Act statute. Under the statute, employers are liable whether or not they had knowledge of the harassment by the supervisory employee. It also does not matter what action the employer took to remedy the harassment. The court also concluded that Illinois law does not permit employers to assert the defenses that are available for such employers in federal court for cases brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

For sexual harassment committed by non supervisory or managerial employees on the other hand, employers are only liable if they fail to take appropriate remedial action or were otherwise negligent in discovering or responding to the sexual harassment. pdf [Read the entire Illinois Supreme Court ruling]

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