Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family imigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution.. A big thanks :)" Read More

I-9 Compliance Pitfalls

Just this past June, the Justice Department announced that it had reached an agreement with Macy's. The retail giant had been accused of conducting unfair documentary procedures during employee re-verification. While the Justice Department did not specify what the procedures were, it did say that Macy's employees suffered economic harm due to lost work and seniority. Macy's paid $175,000 in civil penalties, created a $100,000 fund to recoup lost back pay for employees, and will be monitored by OCS (Office of Special Counsel) for the next two years. While this notable outcome may seem singular, it would be a mistake for any employers to believe themselves immune.

Nearly all employers in the United States are familiar-or should be--with the I-9, as it is required under most circumstances. However, recent changes have made this "harmless" form into a trap for the unwary or careless. Recently, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Practices (OCS) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) agreed to combine their resources to catch employers who discriminate on the basis of national origin, citizenship or immigration status. This agreement is called the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and can be found here: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2013/July/13-crt-762.html

This sharing of information leaves employers much more vulnerable to potential sanctions. Either the OSC or NLRB can refer an I-9 to an appropriate agency if either believes that discriminatory practices have taken place, and may contact the aggrieved party. The key word is 'either', as under the MOU, the NLRB will act as the agent for OSC for the purpose of accepting charges for OCS. This is important in figuring out when time beings to toll, so practitioners can know what the time limit for filing charges is. Naturally, the MOU also includes an agreement between OSC and NLRB for the sharing of information. All employers must be more cautious than ever, as what can be deemed a discriminatory practice may not necessarily be malicious or even intentional. Sometimes employers, especially when using the electronic I-9, will request certain documents for the purpose of conformity. Actions such as this, done without any discriminatory intent, can still lead to allegations of violations and potentially, penalties, as seen above.

Increased exposure, of course, begs the question: what can an employer do to protect himself? One course of action to consider and discuss with an employment law attorney is never to tell an employee what documents to bring for the Form I-9, or insist which documents listed can be chosen from. It might be better to provide each and every employee with the instructions for Form I-9, which include which documents are acceptable. Let your employees choose what to furnish, which will go a long way in avoiding any charges. It is also good practice to allow employees to present as many documents or combination of documents as they wish, as long as they are acceptable by law. And finally remember that the above advice applies to physical Form I-9s, electronic forms and most importantly, re-verification.

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PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • Rated by Super Lawyers | Angie Garasia | 5 Years
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationaly Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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