On May 31, 2012, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Tuscany Hotel and Casino LLC in Las Vegas alleging the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination in the employment eligibility verification and re-verification process.
The Complaint alleges Tuscany, for over five years, utilized a practice of recording the expiration dates of all non-U.S. citizen employees' work authorization documents in its payroll system. It did not record such expiration dates for documents of citizens. Furthermore, non-U.S. citizens, who presented a List B and a List C document during the initial employment eligibility verification process, were required by Tuscany to provide the expiration date of their permanent resident (LPR) card as a condition of employment.
Thereafter, it is alleged Tuscany subjected lawful permanent residents to unnecessary reverification by requiring them to provide a renewed permanent resident card to continue employment. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), employers may not request reverification of permanent resident cards even if they expire after their employment begins. Furthermore, the INA requires employers to treat all authorized workers equally during the hiring, firing and employment eligibility verification process, regardless of their national origin or citizenship status.
Requesting reverification of expired permanent resident cards is a common mistake of employers since it is counter-intuitive that an expired LPR card does not mean the employee’s employment eligibility has expired. That’s one reason that employers need the wise counsel of immigration compliance attorneys – to guide employers through the maze of immigration compliance regulations, some of which are counter-intuitive.
Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the at Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C. He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on immigration compliance for employers, and employment/labor law. Mr. Buchanan received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1982 and a B.S. degree from Florida State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Mr. Buchanan has been in private practice since 2003. Beforehand, he served as Senior Trial Specialist for the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years. He also served from 1991 to 2003 as Adjunct Professor at William H. Bowen UALR School of Law, where he taught courses in Labor Law and Employment Law. Mr. Buchanan was chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Law Section from 2011 to 2012 and has been the editor of the TBA's Immigration Law Section Newsletter and the TBA's Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter since 2009. Mr. Buchanan is a frequent writer and speaker on immigration compliance as well as labor law, wage & hour law and proposed federal legislation. He is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as the Advocacy Liaison of the Mid-South Chapter of AILA. Mr. Buchanan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) and is an associate member of the Mid-Tennessee Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. Mr. Buchanan is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.