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Kelly, Justice Department settle immigration paperwork probe

September 11 2013

Kelly Services Inc. (NASD: KELYA) agreed to settle a U.S. Department of Justice investigation over immigration paperwork for approximately $3,000. However, the company does not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, and the facts of the case remain in dispute.

The Department of Justice reported the staffing provider terminated a worker at its Schaumberg, Ill., branch  for not producing a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services-issued document even though he had a valid unrestricted Social Security card and was also able to show acceptable continued employment eligibility.

Kelly Services reports the investigation focused on whether it required unreasonable documents from a temporary employee whose initial U.S. work status had expired. The company notes it was required under law to re-verify the employee's work status. And the company differs on the actual events that took place, including whether the employee did provide, after numerous attempts, acceptable evidence of continued U.S. work eligibility.

The staffing provider agreed to pay $1,888 in lost wages and a $1,100 civil penalty to settle the claim, according to the Department of Justice. Designated Kelly staff will also take part in Department of Justice training on employers' responsibilities under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Kelly reported the training mirrors its existing processes, and the company said it determined it was in the best interest of all involved to end the matter by agreeing to the payment of a fine and administering the training.

"Kelly Services takes its I-9 obligations very seriously," the company wrote in a statement. "Kelly is an E-Verify employer. In addition, Kelly has been subjected to and passed, a rigorous U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) IMAGE audit. Kelly continuously reviews and updates its policies and practices to ensure they are best in class. The company takes the anti-discrimination provisions of U.S. laws very seriously, and works hard to follow both to the letter and intent of these laws."

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