Justice Department Settled Claims of Re-verification Discrimination Case

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The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement agreement resolving allegations that the company discriminated under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), when it impermissibly “reverified” the work authority of lawful permanent residents and required some non-citizen workers to provide specific Form I-9 documentation.

In a charge filed with the department, the charging party, a lawful permanent resident, alleged that company improperly terminated him after he failed to produce an unexpired lawful permanent resident card (also known as a “green card”) in connection with an erroneous reverification of his employment eligibility. The charging party had presented proper work authorization documentation at the time of hire, and the company had no reason to suspect that his documentation was not genuine. The employee was permanently work-authorized, but lost three weeks’ worth of wages as a result of unlawful practice followed by the company. The department’s investigation revealed that the company reverified the documentation of similarly situated lawful permanent residents when their documentation expired but did not reverify expired documentation of U.S. citizens. The anti-discrimination provision prohibits treating employees differently in the employment eligibility verification and reverification processes based on citizenship or national origin.

In response to the department’s investigation, the company conducted an internal audit and undertook immediate corrective action to address and rectify its employment eligibility verification policies and practices. As part of its corrective action, they rehired the charging party and gave him full back pay several months before the department had made its finding of discrimination. Under the settlement agreement, the company agrees to pay $3,190 in civil penalties to the United States, to conform all of its actions to ensure compliance with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision and to train its human resources personnel about the company’s responsibility to avoid discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process.

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