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Today, the Department of Justice reminded us again that sometimes employers can go too far in their I-9 obligations, crossing that difficult (and often blurry) line between diligent review and discriminatory practices. The DOJ’s latest reminder came courtesy of a press release, announcing the filing of a lawsuit by the DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) against the University of California, San Diego Medical Center (UCSD Medical) for discrimination in the Form I-9 process. According to the press release, the DOJ’s independent investigation revealed that the medical center engaged in a pattern or practice of requesting excessive I-9 documentation from newly hired non-U.S. citizens (such as permanent residents, nonimmigrant visa holders, etc.) in order to verify or re-verify employment eligibility. The complaint seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by UCSD Medical, monetary damages for any individuals harmed by those actions, and civil penalties.

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