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January 21, 2013

Unfair Immigration-Related Employment

Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practice

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has reached an agreement with Centerplate Inc. resolving allegations that the company violated INA § 274B [8 USCA § 1324b] by engaging in a pattern or practice of treating work-eligible noncitizens differently from U.S. citizens during the employment eligibility verification process by requiring specific documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from the former while not making similar requests of the latter. Centerplate, based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is one of the largest hospitality (food-service) companies in the world. 

The DOJ's investigation was based on a referral from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made pursuant to a memorandum of agreement between USCIS and the DOJ's Civil Rights Division. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Centerplate will pay $250,000 in civil penalties, the third highest amount paid through settlement since the enactment of the anti-discrimination provision in 1986, and will fully compensate any victims who lost wages as a result of the company's discriminatory practices.

If you have been suffering work-related discrimination, please call our the Law Offices of Norka M. Schell at (212)564-1589 to speak with an attorney about your case.

USCIS Expands Services

USCIS Expands Services

National Customer Service Saturday Hours

On January 12, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' (USCIS') National Customer Service Center (NCSC) expanded its live, toll-free telephone assistance service to included Saturday hours. Customer service representatives at the NCSC can now take calls Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., local time.

Customers now are able to call the toll-free number on Saturdays to receive nationwide assistance for immigration services and benefits offered by USCIS. Customer service representatives can answer routine questions on a wide variety of topics related to immigration services and benefits, including ordering forms, processing times, and information on local offices and civil surgeons.

My Case Status and e-Requests

USCIS has also expanded the capabilities of two of its online tools:  My Case Status and E-Request--To permit customers to view the current status of applications that they submit and follow-up their cases, no matter which USCIS form they used. My Case Status now allows individuals to track, through its secure mail initiative (SMI), the mailing and delivery of USCIS-produced cards and documents by permitting them to use USCIS' website to access the U.S. Postal Service tracking numbers of their documents. E-Request now allows customers to inquire electronically about applications and petitions that they submit to USCIS. Individuals may use this tool to request a follow-up on their case status if they do not receive documents related to three of the most-used immigration forms: Form I-485, Application to Adjust Permanent Residence or Adjust Status; Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.  

If have an immigration question and like to speak with an attorney, please call our Firm at phone number (212)564-1589.