The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Isabella Geriatric Center (IGC), a nursing home located in New York City, resolving a claim that IGC engaged in a pattern or practice of citizenship discrimination during the employment eligibility reverification process in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The department’s investigation found that IGC required lawful permanent resident employees to present a new Permanent Resident Card when their prior card expired, even though the Form I-9 and E-Verify rules prohibit this practice.
Lawful permanent residents have permanent work authorization in the United States, even after their Permanent Resident Cards expire.
The investigation also found that IGC required lawful permanent residents to provide proof of U.S. citizenship if they became naturalized citizens.
The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status.
“The INA protects authorized workers from discrimination in the employment eligibility verification and reverification processes,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division.
“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that employers follow the law and that they do not impose discriminatory obstacles that prevent work-authorized individuals from working.”
Under the settlement agreement, IGC will pay $14,500 in civil penalties to the United States; undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA; establish a back pay fund to compensate potential economic victims; revise its employment eligibility reverification policies; and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for two years.
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) within the Justice Department is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.
Among other things, the statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee, unfair documentary practices, retaliation and intimidation.
Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to: (1) different documentary requirements based on their citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin; or (2) discrimination based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, should contact OSC’s worker hotline for assistance.