Daily Labor Report® is the objective resource the nation’s foremost labor and employment professionals read and rely on, providing reliable, analytical coverage of top labor and employment...
July 27 — A California-based natural food company will pay $1.5 million to avoid prosecution for employing unauthorized workers and then rehiring them following an Immigration and Customs Enforcement audit.
Mary's Gone Crackers Inc. of Gridley, Calif., was subject to an ICE audit of its I-9 employment eligibility verification forms in 2012, according to the agreement with the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of California, signed July 21.
During the audit, ICE notified the cookie and cracker company that 49 employees had “suspect documents” and likely weren't authorized to work in the U.S.
One of those employees provided corrected employment verification documents, and MGC told ICE that it had fired the other 48, the agreement said.
But one operations supervisor never was fired, and instead continued working under an assumed name, the agreement said. MGC continued to pay the worker—an unauthorized immigrant—as an independent contractor until the worker was terminated for unrelated reasons five months later.
MGC then proceeded to rehire at least 13 unauthorized workers under false names following the ICE audit, the agreement said.
At least 12 of those employees were still working for MGC when a federal search warrant was executed in January 2013, the agreement said. The company thereafter overhauled its immigration compliance policies.
Those steps included: firing the unauthorized workers and no longer using the outside counsel it worked with during the I-9 audit and afterward; enrolling in E-Verify and the Social Security Verification Service; sending a human resources manager to an ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers forum and training session; providing training to employees on I-9 compliance; establishing an anonymous tip line to report I-9 issues; retaining an HR compliance expert to assess the company's I-9 compliance program; and retaining new outside counsel.
In addition to the $1.5 million payment, MGC also agreed to establish a corporate I-9 and E-Verify compliance program and to report to the U.S. attorney's office on that program for two years.
The company additionally agreed to pay $3,000 to a woman whose son's Social Security number was used by one of the unauthorized workers.
To contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text of the agreement is available at http://src.bna.com/hbb.
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)