The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on May 29, 2012 it was suing Tuscany Hotel and Casino, LLC (“Tuscany”), located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Based on the complaint (dated May 11, 2012), the DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel has been investigating this organization for months. While we don’t report on every single DOJ lawsuit related to I-9 issues, the facts of this case offer some valuable lessons to our readers.
According to the OSC complaint, here’s what happened (short version). (These facts are the government’s version and may be disputed by Tuscany.) In late December 2010, Tuscany allegedly committed document abuse and discriminated against an employee because of that employee’s citizenship status. Six months later, that employee lodged a complaint with OSC on June 7, 2011, which triggered OSC’s investigation of Tuscany. In October of 2011, OSC expanded its investigations of Tuscany to include other patterns and practices that may have resulted in discriminatory results. During its investigations, OSC found that from January 2006 to October 2011, Tuscany applied a different standard of employment eligibility verification practice to its non-U.S. citizen employees, including Legal Permanent Residents possessing “green cards”:
Although this is an ongoing case, and assuming all the alleged facts are true, our readers should be very vigilant about unevenly applied employment practices when it comes to the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process.