Montserrat C. Miller

Partner

Fax: 404.873.8769

Biography

Montserrat is a partner and co-chair of the firm’s Privacy and Consumer Regulatory practice as well as a member of the Immigration and Government Affairs practice groups. She is also the co-chair of the firm’s Background Screening industry team.

Montserrat advises organizations on employee onboarding issues such as employment background screening and compliance with immigration law requirements when hiring employees. Her practice revolves around ensuring organizations compliance with legal requirements related to the collection, use and disclosure of personal data of employees, consumers, customers or students. Montserrat regularly speaks at national and regional conferences as well as webinars. She is the author of the Workforce Compliance Insights blog and the Compliance News Flash.

Data Privacy and Security
Montserrat has developed a national practice advising both consumer reporting agencies (aka background screening companies) and employers regarding their compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state consumer reporting laws. This includes the use of criminal and credit history information, motor vehicle records, as well as Fair Chance Hiring laws (aka Ban the Box ordinances), all tied to employment and tenancy background checks.

Montserrat also represents organizations on their obligations and compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) related to the processing of consumer personal data, as well as certification and compliance with the Department of Commerce’s Privacy Shield program related to cross-border transfers of personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States.

Finally, Montserrat advises organizations on their obligations under state breach notification laws and represents companies before the Federal Trade Commission.

Immigration
Montserrat provides strategic counseling to corporate clients and foreign nationals with regard to employment-based U.S. immigration law, including advice related to H-1B, L-1, TN and O visas as well as labor certification applications under the PERM regulations.

Montserrat counsels and defends companies regarding their hiring practices and compliance with the government’s Form I-9 and E-Verify employment eligibility verification requirements. Her practice includes advising clients on Form I-9 hiring practices and the E-Verify process, defending employers in civil and criminal workplace investigations, and conducting immigration-related internal investigations and Form I-9 audits. She serves as a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee, this committee addresses worksite enforcement, Form I-9 and E-Verify matters.

Government Affairs
Montserrat represents clients before the U.S. Congress on matters related to her practice – immigration, pre-employment background screening, and consumer/credit reporting. She also advocates on behalf of clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Trade Commission. Montserrat served as Washington Counsel to the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS), an association of employment and tenant background screening companies.

Montserrat is a frequent speaker and author of a blog and the Compliance News Flash covering employment background screening and immigration issues – www.workforcecomplianceinsights.com

Prior to joining AGG, Montserrat was in private practice with Greenberg Traurig LLP. She has worked in the U.S. Senate as Judiciary Committee Counsel to Senator Dianne Feinstein. Before working on Capitol Hill, Montserrat was at a boutique immigration law firm and began her legal career as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, entering service through the Immigration Attorney General’s Honors Program.

Experience

  • Represent U.S.-based employers in government audits and investigations related to Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance and the hiring of a legal workforce.

  • Provide employment-based counsel related to temporary visas (i.e., H-1Bs, Ls, TN, Os) and labor certifications (i.e., PERM) for immigrant petitions.

  • Advise companies on the collection and use of consumer’s personal data, including also international transfers of personal data to the United States from abroad, in particular from the European Union (EU) to the United States under the EU Directive, the EU-.U.S. Privacy Shield, Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • Advise employers on policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, state restrictions on the use of credit history information, application of Fair Chance Hiring ordinances.

  • Advise background screening companies on compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Driver’s Privacy Protection Act as well as state consumer protection statutes as they affect the furnishing of background checks.

  • Draft general website privacy policies, including specifically policies related to the Department of Commerce’s Privacy Shield self-certification.

  • Ms. Miller testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) on the use and value of criminal history records for pre-employment screening purposes. Ms. Miller also appeared on NBC’s Today Show speaking on employment background screening and the role of the FCRA.

  • Organize coalition building with like-minded organizations to benefit client interests.

  • Advised a provider of college readiness assessments in development of policies and procedures to adhere to U.S. and international law with respect to the collection, use, onward transfer and disclosure of student personal data.

  • Represent clients before the U.S. Congress, Department of Homeland Security, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Draft employer policies and procedures necessary to implement a legally compliant background screening program considering the FCRA, EEOC guidance on the use of criminal history records as well as state and local consumer protection statutes such as Fair Chance Hiring Laws and credit restrictions.

  • Conduct internal audits of company’s Employment Eligibility Verification forms (Form I-9) and provide counsel on hiring and antidiscrimination issues related to their workforce.

  • Represent employers during workplace investigations conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as well as during settlement negotiations with ICE related to civil penalties imposed under a Notice of Intent to Fine.

  • Represent organizations with respect to a data breach and notification under state breach notification laws.

  • Advise companies on international transfers of personal data to the United States from abroad, particularly the European Union and compliance with the GDPR.

  • Advise I-9 electronic software solution providers on compliance with immigration law and regulations as well as guidance from the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Draft client comments as part of Federal Register notices for comments.

  • Draft employer policies and procedures necessary to implement a legally compliant background screening program considering the FCRA , EEOC guidance on the use of criminal history records as well as state and local consumer protection statutes such as Ban the Box laws.

  • Represent background screening companies and employers in defending against class action and individual complaints alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (and analogous state law) as well as demand letters.

  • Represent organizations responding to a data breach.

  • Ms. Miller was as a witness before the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NACDL Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status after Conviction in February 2013, as a legal expert on background screening for employment purposes under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

  • Ms. Miller was as a witness before the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NACDL Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status after Conviction in February 2013, as a legal expert on background screening for employment purposes under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

  • Witness before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights regarding background screening for employment purposes and the EEOC guidance on criminal history records. (Click here for hearing announcement.)

  • Draft website privacy policies.

  • Provided counsel and strategic advice to non-profit organization representing graduate business and management programs on international student visa issues before the U.S. Congress and Department of Homeland Security.

  • Provided counsel and strategic advice to the mobile amusement industry with respect to their participation in the J-1 Summer Work Travel program administered by the State Department.

  • Served as immigration counsel to public housing authority advising them on their compliance with E-Verify and form I-9 compliance.  Completed an internal audit of their Employment Eligibility Verification forms (form I-9) and provide counsel on hiring and anti-discrimination issues related to their workforce.

  • Updated client’s hiring policies and procedures with respect to their compliance with immigration law requirements, including participation in the electronic employment eligibility verification program, E-Verify, and use of the Employment Eligibility Verification form (form I-9). Also advised them on Employment Eligibility Verification (form I-9) compliance with respect to their acquisition of a competitor.

  • Advise I-9 electronic software vendors on their compliance with immigration laws and regulations.

  • Advise background screening companies and employers on their compliance with the FCRA and state analogs.

  • Advise background screening companies with their compliance under the FCRA and state consumer protection laws.

  • Advise companies on international transfers of personal data to the United States from abroad, including through model contract clauses and other mechanisms.

  • Assisting a provider of college readiness assessments in development of policies and procedures to adhere to International law with respect to the collection and use of personal information.

  • Complete internal audits of company’s Employment Eligibility Verification forms (Form I-9) and provide counsel on hiring and antidiscrimination issues related to their workforce.

  • Invited to serve as a witness before the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NACDL Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction in February 2013 as a legal expert on the use of criminal history information under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

  • Manage immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing for companies seeking to employ international talent in the United States.

  • Provided counsel and strategic advice to the background screening industry on employment and tenant screening issues before the U.S. Congress and multiple federal agencies.

  • Represent background screening companies in defending against class action complaints alleging violations of the FCRA.

  • Represent companies who are the subject of a government investigation by ICE based on the issuance of a Notice of Inspection for review of their Form I-9 compliance under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

  • Represented a fast food retailer during settlement negotiations with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and successfully lowered the overall civil penalty assessed due to the company’s Form I-9 violations.

  • Represented a manufacturing company during the due diligence process as they acquired a competitor to ensure a legal workforce and compliance regarding the Form I-9 requirements.

Credentials

  • American University Washington College of Law, Juris Doctor — 1996
    • Editor, Journal of Gender & the Law
  • George Mason University, Bachelor of Arts — 1991
    • Honors Graduate with High Distinction
  • District of Columbia Bar 1999
  • State of Maryland 1997
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia 2012
      • American Immigration Lawyers Association
        • Member, Verification & Worksite Enforcement Liaison Committee (2012-2015 and 2019-present)
      • American Bar Association
      • International Association of Privacy Professionals
    • National Association of Professional Background Screeners
  • Spanish ( Fluent )

Recognition

    • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) Certification – International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/Europe) Certification – IAPP
  • Who’s Who Legal: Corporate Immigration, 2014-2016, 2019

News & Insights

Workforce Compliance Insights

The Workforce Compliance Insights blog covers legal issues, developments and noteworthy events in two areas. First, the background screening industry, including both users of background checks as well as providers of the reports. Second, immigration compliance and specifically the Form I-9 and E-Verify. If you have follow up questions, comments or believe you may need legal advice on a specific issue, please reach out to me directly.