Monthly Archives: May 2011

May 31, 2011

Supreme Court Upholds Arizona’s Mandatory E-Verify Law

By Roger Tsai

May 27, 2011

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which requires employers in that state to use E-Verify, an online tool employers can use to verify the immigration status of new hires. The Arizona law also allows state authorities to suspend or revoke employer business licenses for knowingly employing undocumented immigrant workers. 

The Supreme Court’s decision will likely encourage state legislatures to pass more immigration related laws.  Utah, Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina currently mandate the use of E-Verify by all employers.  Other states such as South Carolina and Arizona have created state Immigrant Worker Compliance Offices to investigate and fine employers who employ undocumented workers.

Employers who are interested in learning more about immigration compliance are invited to attend a two-hour Holland & Hart seminar in Las Vegas on June 26.  Speakers will include Immigration and Customs Enforcement auditors and E-Verify administrators. Additional details will follow.  Please contact us with questions.

May 3, 2011

EEOC files suit against retailer alleging retaliation

The EEOC announced last Thursday that it was filing suit against a large retailer under Title VII. The EEOC complained that retailer retaliated against an employee when she heeded mandatory evacuation warnings. According to the EEOC, the retailer terminated the employee for "excessive absenteeism." The case will now proceed in federal court. Whether or not the EEOC can prevail in its suit remains to be seen.

The lesson for employers is that the EEOC is paying close attention to claims of retaliation by employees and is filing suit when it believes that employers have retaliated against employees for engaging in protected activity. Employers should tread carefully in this area, as the costs of defending a suit can be significant, as can the negative publicity that can result from an EEOC enforcement action. In recent days, the EEOC has announced settlements of retaliation claims totaling thousands of dollars. In addition, some of the settlements have involved mandatory training for all company personnel and other policy changes. Employers are well advised to train their management team on these issues to ensure that all key personnel understand the importance of disconnecting complaints about protected activity from employment decisions about that individual.