Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grand America Hotel fires employees over lack of work documentation (KSTU-UT)

Grand America Hotel fires employees over lack of work documentation
Reports say layoffs near 120 employees
8:51 a.m. MDT, September 1, 2011

Some reports say 120 employees have been laid off at the Grand America Hotel after an audit report found several of their workers did not have current validation to work in the United States.

Hotel president Bruce Fery said in a statement Wednesday the Grand America is not alone and audits are being conducted statewide. He says that the employees that were found with invalid documentation had "presented facially valid documents when they were hired."

Fery goes on to say in the statement: "Over the last several months some of those without proper documentation were able to update their information to satisfy DHS and continue their employment. Earlier this month DHS notified the hotel that those who had not been able to document their right to work in the United States could no longer be employed after today."

The hotel is not confirming how many lost their jobs because of the audit.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a statement that could be interpreted as critical of Grand America saying: “Responsible employers who seek to conduct their business lawfully are put at an unfair disadvantage as they try to compete with unscrupulous businesses. Such businesses gain a competitive edge by paying illegal alien workers low wages or otherwise exploiting them.”

The recent layoffs come as Utahns and local politicians are debating whether to allow undocumented workers to remain.

FOX 13 talked with various members of state government and they all say the audit is a federal action.

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