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Notice

Civil Rights Division; Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices; Immigration Related Employment Discrimination Public Education Grants

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Notice of availability of funds and solicitation for grant applications.

SUMMARY:

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) announces the availability of funds for grants to conduct public education programs about the rights afforded potential victims of employment discrimination and the responsibilities of employers under the antidiscrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b.

It is anticipated that a number of grants will be competitively awarded to applicants who can demonstrate a capacity to design and successfully implement public education campaigns to combat immigration related employment discrimination. Grants will range in size from $40,000 to $100,000.

OSC will accept proposals from applicants who have access to potential victims of discrimination or whose experience qualifies them to educate workers, employers and the general Start Printed Page 20158public about the antidiscrimination provisions of the INA. OSC welcomes proposals from diverse nonprofit organizations such as local, regional or national ethnic and immigrants' rights advocacy organizations, labor organizations, trade associations, industry groups, professional organizations, or other nonprofit entities, including state and local government agencies, providing information services to potential victims of discrimination and/or employers.

APPLICATION DUE DATE:

June 4, 2001.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Patita McEvoy, Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, 1425 New York Ave., NW., Suite 9000, P.O. Box 27728, Washington, DC 20038-7728. Tel. (202) 616-5594, or (202) 616-5525 (TDD for the hearing impaired). OSC's e-mail address is: ocs.crt@usdoj.gov

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice announces the availability of funds to conduct cost-effective public education programs concerning the antidiscrimination provisions of INA. Funds will be awarded to selected applicants who propose cost-effective ways of educating employers, workers covered by this statute, and/or the general public.

Background: The Immigration and Nationality Act protects work-authorized individuals from employment discrimination based on their citizenship status and/or national origin. Federal law also makes knowingly hiring unauthorized workers unlawful, and requires employers to verify the identity and work authorization of all new employees. Employers who violate this law are subject to sanctions, including fines and possible criminal prosecution.

Employers of four or more employees are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment or referral for a fee, and prohibits employers from engaging in document abuse in the employment eligibility verification process.

U.S. citizens and certain classes of work authorized individuals are protected from citizenship status discrimination. Protected non-citizens include:

  • Temporary Residents;
  • Legal Permanent Residents;
  • Refugees;
  • Asylees.

Citizens and all work authorized individuals are protected from discrimination on the basis of national origin. However, this prohibition applies only to employers with four to fourteen employees. National origin discrimination complaints against employers with fifteen or more employees remain under the jurisdiction of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.

In addition, under the document abuse provision of the law, employers must accept all forms of work authorization and proof of identify allowed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (NIS) for completion of the Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) Form. Employers may not prefer or require one form of documentation over another for hiring purposes. Requiring more or specific documents to prove identity and work authorization may constitute document abuse.

OSC is responsible for receiving and investigating discrimination charges and, when appropriate, filing complaints with specially designated administrative law judges. OSC also initiates independent investigations of possible immigration related job discrimination.

While OSC has established a record of vigorous enforcement, studies by the U.S. General Accounting Office and other sources have shown that there is an extensive lack of knowledge on the part of protected individuals and employers about the antidiscrimination provisions of the INA. Enforcement cannot be effective if potential victims of discrimination are not aware of their rights. Moreover, discrimination can never be eradicated so long as employers are not aware of their responsibilities.

Purpose: OSC seeks to educate both workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the antidiscrimination provisions of INA. Because previous grantees have developed a wealth of materials, (e.g., brochures, posters, booklets, information packets and videos) to educate these groups, OSC has determined that the main focus of the program should be on the actual delivery of these materials to educate further both potential victims and employers. OSC seeks proposals that will use existing materials effectively to educate large numbers of workers or employers about exercising their rights or fulfilling their obligations under the antidiscrimination provisions. OSC will, of course, consider any proposal that articulates and substantiates other creative means of reaching these populations.

Program Description: The program is designed to develop and implement cost-effective approaches to educate potential victims of employment discrimination about their rights and to educate employers about their responsibilities under INA's antidiscrimination provisions. Applications may propose to educate potential victims only, employers only, or both in a single campaign. Program budgets must include the travel, lodging and other expenses necessary for up to two program staff members to attend the mandatory OSC grantee training (2 days) held in Washington, DC at the beginning of the grant period (late Autumn). Proposals should outline the following key elements of the program:

Part I: Intended Audience(s)

The educational efforts under the grant should be directed to (1) work-authorized non-citizens who are protected individuals, since this group is especially vulnerable to employment discrimination; (2) those citizens who are most likely to become victims of employment discrimination; and/or (3) employers, especially small businesses. The proposals should define the characteristics of the work authorized population or the employer group(s) intended to be the focus of the educational campaign, and the applicant's qualifications to reach credibly and effectively large segments of the intended audience(s).

The proposals should also detail the reasons for focusing on each group of protected individuals or employers by describing particular needs or other factors to support the selection. In defining the campaign focuses and supporting the reasons for the selection, applicants may use census data, studies, surveys, or any other sources of information of generally accepted reliability.

Part II: Campaign Strategy

We encourage applicants to devise effective and creative means of public education and information dissemination that are specifically designed to reach the widest possible intended audience. Those applicants proposing educational campaigns addressing potential victims of discrimination should keep in mind that some of the traditional methods of public communication may be less than optimal for educating members of national or linguistic groups that have limited community-based support and communication networks.Start Printed Page 20159

Grants are an important component of OSC partnerships to better serve the public, employers and potential discrimination victims. Grantees should plan to include OSC attorneys and other professional staff in public outreach programs in order to more successfully reach their audiences and prevent discrimination before it occurs or combat it where it exists.

Some grantees who are conducting citizenship campaigns have, in the past, combined those efforts and resources with the INA antidiscrimination education campaigns in order to maximize the scope and breadth of the project and to reach a larger number of individuals. Applicants proposing to combine these efforts should discuss how the programs will interact and how the budgets will be administered.

Proposals should discuss the components of the campaign strategy, detail the reasons supporting the choice of each component, and explain how each component will effectively contribute to the overall objective of cost-effective dissemination of useful and accurate information to a wide audience of protected individuals of employers. Discussions of the campaign strategies and supporting rationale should be clear, concise, and based on sound evidence and reasoning.

Since there presently exists a wealth of materials for use in educating the public, applicants should include in their budget proposals the cost for distribution of materials received from OSC or from current/past OSC grantees.

To the extent that applicants believe the development of original materials particularly suited to their campaign is necessary, their proposal should articulate in detail the circumstances requiring the development of such materials. All such materials must be approved by OSC prior to production to ensure legal accuracy and proper emphasis. Proposed revisions/translations of OSC-approved materials must also be submitted for clearance. All information distributed should also identify OSC as a source of assistance, information and action, and include the correct address and telephone numbers of OSC, (including the toll-free numbers, TDD numbers) and OSC e-mail and Internet addresses.

Part III: Evaluation of the Strategy

One of the central goals of this program is determining what public education strategies are most effective and thus, should be included in future public education efforts. Therefore, it is crucial that the methods of evaluating the campaign strategy and public education materials and their results be carefully detailed. A full evaluation of a project's effectiveness is due within 60 days of the conclusion of a campaign. Interim evaluation/activity reports are due at least quarterly, or more frequently as needed throughout the grant year.

Selection Criteria: The final selection of grantees for award will be made by the Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices.

A panel made up of OSC staff will review and rate the applications and make recommendations to the Special Counsel regarding funding. The panel's results are advisory in nature and not binding on the Special Counsel. Letters of support, endorsement, or recommendation are not part of the grant application process and will not be considered.

In determining which applications to fund, OSC will consider the following (based on a one-hundred point sale):

1. Program Design (50 points)

Sound program design and cost-effective strategies for educating the intended population are imperative. Consequently, areas that will be closely examined include the following:

a. Evidence of in-depth knowledge of the goals and objectives of the project. (10 points)

b. Selection and definition of the intended audience(s) for the campaign, and the factors that support the selection, including special needs, and the applicant's qualifications to reach effectively the intended audience(s). (15 points)

c. A cost-effective campaign strategy for educating employers and/or members of the protected class, with a justification for the choice of strategy, including the degree to which the campaign has prevented immigration related unfair employment practices and has reached individuals with such claims. (15 points)

d. The evaluation methods proposed by the applicant to measure the effectiveness of the campaign and their precision in indicating to what degree the campaign is successful. (10 points)

2. Administrative Capability (20 points)

Proposals will be rated in terms of the capability of the applicant to define the intended audience, reach it and implement the public education and evaluation components of the campaign:

a. Evidence of proven ability to provide high quality results. (10 points).

b. Evidence that the applicant can implement the campaign, and complete the evaluation component within the time lines provided. (10 points)

Note:

OSC's experience during previous grant cycles has shown that a number of applicants choose to apply as a consortium of individual entities; or, if applying individually, propose the use of subcontractors to undertake certain limited functions. It is essential that these applicants demonstrate the proven management capability and experience to ensure that, as lead agency, they will be directly accountable for the successful implementation, completion, and evaluation of the project.

3. Staff Capability (10 points)

Applications will be evaluated in terms of the degree to which:

a. The duties outlined for grant-funded positions appear appropriate to the work that will be conducted under the award. (5 points)

b. The qualifications of the grant-funded positions appear to match the requirements of these positions. (5 points)

Note:

If the grant project manager or other member of the professional staff is to be hired later as part of the grant, or should there be any change in professional staff during the grant period, hiring is subject to review and approval by OSC at that time.

4. Previous Experience (20 points)

The proposals will be evaluated on the degree to which the applicant demonstrates that it has successfully carried out programs or work of a similar nature in the past.

Eligible Applicants: This grant competition is open to nonprofit organization, including labor organizations, employer groups and state and local government agencies.

Grant Period and Award Amount: It is anticipated that several grants will be awarded and will range in size from $40,000 to $100,000.

Publication of this announcement does not require OSC to award any specific number of grants, or to obligate all or any part of available funds. The period of performance will be twelve months from the date of the grant award, in most cases beginning October 1, 2001.

Application Deadline: All applications must be received by 6 p.m. EDT, on (45 days after date of publication). If using regular first-class mail, send to: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 27728, Washington, DC 20038-7728. If using overnight or priority mail, send to: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, U.S. Department of Justice, 1425 New York Ave., NW., Suite 9000, Washington, DC 20005. Applications may not be submitted via facsimile machine.

Application Requirements: Applicants should submit an original and two (2) copies of their completed proposal by the deadline established Start Printed Page 20160above. All submissions must contain the following items in the order listed below:

1. A completed and signed Application for Federal Assistance (Standard Form 424).

Note:

The Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance number is 16.110 and the title is, Education & Enforcement of the Antidiscrimination Provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, (box #10 of the SF 424).

2. OJP Form 4061/6 (Certification Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters; and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements).

3. Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying (SF LLL)

4. OJP Form 4000/3 (Assurances)

5. An abstract of the full proposal, not to exceed one page.

6. A program narrative of not more than fifteen (15) double-spaced typed pages that includes the following:

a. A clear statement describing the approach and strategy to be used to complete the tasks identified in the program description;

b. A clear statement of the proposed goals and objectives, including a listing of the major events, activities, products and timetables for completion and the extent of OSC participation in grantee outreach events;

c. The proposed staffing plan.

Note:

If the grant project manager or other professional staff member is to be hired later as part of the grant, or should there be a change in professional staff, hiring is subject to review and approval by OSC at that time; and

d. Description of how the project will be evaluated.

7. A proposed budget outlining all direct and indirect costs for personnel, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, subcontracts, and a short narrative justification of each budgeted line item cost. If an indirect cost rate is used in the budget, then a copy of a current fully executed agreement between the applicant and the cognizant Federal agency must accompany the budget.

Note:

Program budgets must include the travel, lodging and other expenses necessary for not more than two program staff members to attend the mandatory OSC grantee training (2 days) held in Washington, DC at the beginning of the grant period (late Autumn).

8. Copies of résumés of the professional staff proposed in the budget.

Applicants forms may be obtained by writing or telephoning: Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices, P.O. Box 27728, Washington, DC 20038-7728. Tel. (202) 616-5594, or (202) 616-5525 (TDD for the hearing impaired). This announcement and the required forms will also appear on the World Wide Web at www.usdoj.gov/​crt/​osc/​. In order to facilitate handling, please do not use covers, binders or tabs.

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Dated: April 12, 2001.

John D. Trasviña,

Special Counsel for Immigration, Related Unfair Employment Practices.

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[FR Doc. 01-9701 Filed 4-18-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4410-01-M