WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today reached a settlement agreement with Kinro Manufacturing Inc. in Goshen, Ind., resolving allegations that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against work-authorized non-citizens in the employment eligibility verification process. The company, a manufacturer of components for recreational vehicles and manufactured homes, is a subsidiary of Kinro Inc., which is wholly owned by White Plains, N.Y.-based Drew Industries Inc.
According to the department’s findings, the company subjected newly hired non-U.S. citizens to excessive demands for documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security in order to verify their employment eligibility, but did not require U.S. citizens to show any specific documentation . The charging party, a lawful permanent resident, filed his charge of discrimination after he was required to provide additional proof of his employment eligibility not required by law before he could begin work at the company. The Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the hiring and employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status or national origin.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Kinro Manufacturing will alter its practices to ensure that citizens and non-citizens are treated equally in the employment eligibility verification process, pay a $25,000 civil penalty and $10,000 in back pay to the injured party. Kinro Manufacturing has also agreed to train its human resources personnel about employers’ responsibilities to avoid discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process, to produce Forms I-9 for inspection and to provide periodic reports to the department for one year.
“Federal law protects people who are authorized to work in the United States from facing barriers and discrimination when they are seeking employment,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “We are pleased to have reached a settlement in this matter, and we look forward to partnering with other employers to ensure they are in compliance with their obligations under federal law.”
The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, which protects work authorized individuals against discrimination in hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee on the basis of citizenship status and national origin. The INA also protects all work-authorized individuals from discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process and from retaliation.
The United States was represented in this matter by Ronald Lee, OSC Trial Attorney, and German Bonilla, OSC Equal Opportunity Specialist.
For more information about protections against employment discrimination under federal immigration law, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TDD for hearing impaired), OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TDD for hearing impaired), or 202-616-5594; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.