When the EEOC started investigating a class action sexual harassment lawsuit against Glenview Car Wash (GCW) in suburban Chicago, counsel for GCW noticed some deficiencies in its personnel files. GCW then began asking its employees to fill out I-9 forms--the documents that show employees are legally authorized to work in the U.S. It was the first time in 17 years that the company had updated its I-9s.
Judge Ronald Guzman of the Northern District of Illinois wasn't impressed with GCW's newfound piety. At the EEOC's request, he issued an order May 5 that barred the company from making any further inquiries into employees' immigration status during the harassment case. "[The court does not] find it convincing that the only motive for requesting immigration status information is the employer's sudden desire to be in compliance with...the immigration laws," he wrote. "Rather the court finds that the main purpose...is to effect a not so subtle intimidation of the plaintiffs."