Justice Department Reaches Settlement with flower distributors to Resolve Immigration-Related Retaliation Claim

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The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with flower distributors to resolve allegations that the company retaliated against a man for asserting rights under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The Justice Department initiated the investigation after receiving a complaint from a work-authorized immigrant that the company rescinded the individual’s conditional job offer after a background check revealed a purported error in his Social Security account number.   The man informed the company that he was authorized to work in the United States and provided documents showing his status.   The man also expressed concern to the company that they may be violating the anti-discrimination provision of the INA by refusing to hire him and threatened to pursue his legal rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.   The company responded by terminating all communication with the individual.

Under the terms of the agreement, the company has agreed to pay $1,800 in back pay to the man and $3,000 in civil penalties.   They have also agreed to undergo Justice Department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.   The case settled prior to the Justice Department filing a complaint in this matter.

“People authorized to work in this country should not be afraid to dispute errors in databases relating to their employment eligibility or documents,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.  “It is unlawful to retaliate against an individual for asserting a right to work under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.”

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