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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 14, 2010
Justice Department Settles Citizenship Status Discrimination Matter Against ValleyCrest Landscape Companies

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today a settlement agreement with ValleyCrest Landscape Companies to resolve charges of hiring discrimination against U.S. citizens and other work-authorized domestic workers at its Virginia locations. 

Under the agreement, ValleyCrest will modify its hiring policy to extend significantly the time period during which it will recruit U.S. workers for jobs that would otherwise be filled with H-2B temporary visa holders.  Specifically, ValleyCrest will recruit and hire domestic workers up until two weeks before H-2B workers are scheduled to begin work.  It has also made other changes to its personnel practices and will provide full back pay of $11,173 to a U.S. citizen who applied for but was not given a job. 

“Every individual who is authorized to work in this country has the right to know they will be free from discrimination, and that they will be on the same playing field as every other applicant or worker,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. 
 
The charges were filed by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition (MAROC) of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which protect U.S. citizens and certain work-authorized individuals from citizenship status discrimination. The INA also protects all work-authorized individuals from national origin discrimination, over-documentation in the employment eligibility verification process, and retaliation.

For more information about protections against employment discrimination under federal immigration law, call 1-800-255-7688 (OSC’s worker hotline) (1-800-237-2525, TDD for hearing impaired), 1-800-255-8255 (OSC’s employer hotline) (1-800-362-2735, TDD for hearing impaired), or 202-616-5594.  You can also e-mail osccrt@usdoj.gov, or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/osc.

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