November 29, 2007
It’s hard to get much more all-American than Dick Clark, and it’s hard to find a more all-American town than Branson, Missouri. However, a complaint filed by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) alleges that American workers at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill (AB Grill) in Branson are being discriminated against when it comes to hiring in favor of illegal alien workers. AB Grill, founded by the legendary American Bandstand emcee’s production company, was recently purchased by another American success story, Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins.
IRLI, as the only public interest law firm in the United States devoted exclusively to protecting the rights and interests of U.S. Citizens in immigration-related matters, filed a complaint on November 28, 2007, with the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices of the U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of a former employee of the AB Grill who was fired because he threatened to expose this self proclaimed all-American establishment. This employee threatened to notify federal immigration authorities of the blatant violations of federal immigration laws.
“American workers, all across the country, have suffered job loss, lost wages and overt discrimination as a result of large-scale illegal immigration and a consistent failure of the federal government to hold employers accountable,” noted Sharma Hammond, IRLI staff attorney. “What makes this case particularly deplorable is that the discrimination is being practiced by a company and in a town that have prospered by portraying themselves as icons of American culture and values.”
The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits not only the employment of unauthorized aliens, but also makes it unlawful for companies such as AB Grill to fire citizens and legal workers in favor of unauthorized alien workers. The complaint filed by IRLI seeks back pay wages for the former employee who endured this unlawful termination, modest attorney fees and a requirement that the AB Grill enroll in the on-line E-Verify Program (formerly the Basic Pilot Program) – to verify that all future employees will be legal workers.
“In 1957, the American Bandstand television program gave us the Hand Jive,” noted Mike Hethmon, general counsel for IRLI. “Fifty years later, the American Bandstand Grill is just feeding us a lot of offensive jive about not being able to find legal workers to fill jobs in the restaurant, when even a Missouri mule could figure out that they are trying to pad their profits by hiring illegal aliens. Eventually the law catches them.”
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