The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an agreement with a leading facility services company resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The company, with headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, employs approximately 15,000 employees in the United States.
The Justice Department’s investigation was initiated based on a referral from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The investigation focused on whether the company offices in Dallas and Houston were requiring non-citizens to present specific U.S. Department of Homeland Security-issued documents to establish their identity and work-authority while not making similar requests of U.S. citizens. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against noncitizens in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding more or different documents than U.S. citizens are required to present.
According to the settlement agreement, the company agreed to ensure that all its offices complied with the company’s existing employment eligibility verification policies and procedures and to provide training of its human resources personnel on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. They also agreed to pay $49,800 to the United States and to identify and compensate any individuals who may have suffered economic injuries as a result of its practices. Under the agreement, the company’s employment eligibility verification practices will be subject to monitoring by the department for a period of two years.
“Employers cannot create higher hurdles for non-U.S. citizens in the employment eligibility verification process than those required of U.S. citizens unless required by law,” said Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.