Justice Department Settles Immigration-Based Discrimination Claim Against New York Hospital

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The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with a hospital in Queens, N.Y., resolving claims that the hospital violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), when it required newly hired lawful permanent residents to provide more or different documents during the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process.

The investigation stemmed from a charge filed by an individual that the hospital terminated her after discovering that her employment eligibility needed to reverified in the future, despite the fact that she was work authorized.   The subsequent investigation revealed that the hospital imposed greater requirements to verify employment eligibility for lawful permanent residents as compared to U.S. citizen employees and terminated the charging party as a result of the discriminatory documentary practices.    The INA requires employers to treat all authorized workers in the same manner during the employment eligibility verification process, regardless of their national origin or citizenship status.

Under the settlement agreement, the hospital will pay $1,182 in back pay to the charging party and $5,000 in civil penalties to the United States.   They will also train its human resources staff about employers’ responsibilities to avoid discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process and be subject to reporting and compliance monitoring by the department for 18 months.

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