Montserrat C. Miller

Partner

Direct: 404.873.8768
Fax: 404.873.8769
Atlanta
171 17th Street, NW
Suite 2100
Atlanta, Georgia 30363

Biography

Montserrat is a partner and co-chair of the Data Privacy practice and co-chair of the Background Screening industry team. She is also a member of the Immigration practice. Through her dual practice in Data Privacy and Immigration, she advises organizations and individuals.

Data Privacy

As a data privacy lawyer, Montserrat advises organizations on privacy policies, data breaches, and the appropriate collection, use, disclosure, and destruction of consumer’s personal information.

Montserrat has developed a national practice advising consumer reporting agencies (aka background screening companies), software providers, providers of data, and employers regarding 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 checks.

Montserrat also advises organizations on their obligations and compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act as well as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The latter is related to the processing of consumer personal data, including mechanisms for the lawful transfer of personal data from the European Union to the United States, such as on the basis of standard contractual clauses.  She also advises clients on matters related to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Montserrat is a certified information privacy professional (CIPP/US and CIPP/E) through the International Association of Privacy Professionals.

Immigration and Government Investigations

Montserrat provides strategic counseling to corporate clients and foreign nationals with regard to employment-based U.S. immigration law, including advice related to E-3, H-1B, L-1, and TN 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 government 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.

Montserrat is a frequent invited speaker and writer on topics related to data privacy, employment background screening, and immigration issues. Prior to joining AGG, Montserrat was in private practice with Greenberg Traurig LLP. She 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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.)

  • 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.

  • Draft website privacy policies.

  • 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
    • Editor, Journal of Gender & the Law
  • George Mason University, Bachelor of Arts,
    Honors Graduate with High Distinction
  • State of Georgia 2019
  • District of Columbia 1999
  • State of Maryland 1997
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 2019
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia 2012
    • American Immigration Lawyers Association
      • Member, Verification & Worksite Enforcement Liaison Committee (2012-2015 and 2019-2021)
      • Member, Worksite Enforcement Online Course Committee (2021-present)
    • American Bar Association
    • International Association of Privacy Professionals
    • Professional Background Screeners Association
  • 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, 2020
  • JD Supra Readers’ Choice – Top Author in Immigration, 2019 – 2021
  • JD Supra Readers’ Choice – Top Author in Employer Liability Issues, 2021

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