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Departments of Justice and Labor Working To Cutdown Foreign Hires

Recently, the departments of Justice (DOJ) and Labor (DOL) signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on President Trump’s “America First” agenda. In the agreement, the departments will share information on employers, refer issues to the appropriate officials at each department and offer training to each other’s staff with the goal of uncovering companies that “discriminate” against U.S. workers by hiring foreign employees. The departments claim this will better protect U.S. workers from unlawful discriminatory hiring practices as well as hiring temporary visa workers over qualified U.S. workers. As Jen Cornell, labor and employment attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis explains, the most likely approach the DOL will take is to share information on company E-Verify and I-9 audits with the DOJ, targeting employers with a high number of foreign workers for scrutiny. The DOJ would assess whether to commence litigation on hiring discrimination toward U.S. workers. “Essentially, companies with business models that rely on international talent should be prepared to deal with increased scrutiny from these departments,” says Cornell. “While only time will tell, I speculate employers with workforces that consist of a high percentage of foreign employees will be the starting point for the potential crackdown.” Also, given the government doubled the fines applicable to I-9 violations in late 2016, it is likely that one aspect of increased scrutiny will be an uptick in government I-9 audits. Cornell encourages employers to review all I-9 documentation and E-Verify reports for any potential issues, and to even self-audit to identify any issues before a government audit. To speak with Jen Cornell about the DOJ and DOL MOU as well as I-9 auditing, contact her at or 612.305.7717.

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