FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL SETTLES DISCRIMINATION CASE AGAINST NEW YORK CLEANING SERVICES CORPORATION
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The Justice Department today announced a settlement agreement with Triangle Services, Inc., a New York cleaning services corporation with offices nationwide, resolving allegations that Triangle unlawfully terminated a legal immigrant. Under the terms of the agreement, Triangle agreed to pay back-pay and a civil penalty, as well as to train its workforce nationwide on a non-discriminatory employee verification process.
The Office of Special Counsel’s investigation found that Triangle terminated Munevera Has, a candidate for asylum from the former Yugoslavia, when she could not comply with discriminatory procedures the company used to verify her employment eligibility. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), employers are required to examine documents from each new employee to verify eligibility to work in the United States. The INA also requires that employers treat all employees equally and do not create different standards for legal immigrants. Triangle violated the law by rejecting a valid social security card presented by Has, even though such documentation is routinely accepted from U.S. citizens. Specifically, Triangle requested she produce an unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
“Employers should not place additional hurdles in the path of legal immigrants who seek honest employment and establish their legal eligibility to work,” said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This settlement agreement ensures that the type of discrimination that occurred in this case will not happen again.”
In addition to a back-pay payment of $ 1,433.90, Triangle agreed to: pay a $550 civil penalty; refrain from discriminating against non-U.S. citizens during the employment eligibility verification process; provide training for personnel in all of its offices nationwide concerning their responsibilities under the Immigration and Nationality Act; and to post notices in all of its offices nationwide regarding the Act’s anti-discrimination provision.
The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices conducted the investigation. Since FY 2001, the Office of Special Counsel has handled more than 1,300 charges and other allegations of discrimination, recovered $283,634 in back pay for victims of discrimination, and collected $399,218 in civil penalties
Individuals seeking more information about assistance provided by Office of Special Counsel may call, toll-free: 1-800-255-7688 or write to:
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
The Office of Special Counsel appears on the World Wide Web at www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc <http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc>.