Morton’s Restaurant Agrees to Penalties for I-9 Document Abuse

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that it has reached an agreement withMorton’s Restaurant in Portland, Oregon to settle allegations that it required two work-authorized non-citizens to present more documents than legally required during the I-9 process. According to the DOJ’s press release, the workers presented valid Social Security Cards, but the company demanded they produce additional documents to prove they had work authorization. When the workers failed to do so, the company fired them. In contrast, Morton’s routinely permitted U.S. citizens to present Social Security cards as a List C document without further scrutiny.

As a result of the investigation and settlement, Morton’s has agreed to provide full back pay of $2,880 and $5,715.62 to the two employees, pay a civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury of $2,200, and train Morton’s Portland employees on proper I-9 procedures. The parent company, Morton’s of Chicago Inc., has also agreed to provide information to its managers and employees nationwide who have any role in completing the I-9 process to determine work authorization.

Lastly, the Department of Justice will monitor Morton’s I-9 practices for one year to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement.

For more information on I-9 document abuse, please consult page 19 of the M-274 Employer Handbook.