The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Forever 21 resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it rejected a work-authorized individual’s Department of Homeland Security-issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD), and required her to produce a Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a “Green Card”) as a condition of employment. The individual, who was employment-authorized as an applicant for permanent residence, was unable to work following the rejection of her EAD. The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from discriminating in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding specific documents or rejecting acceptable documents based on citizenship status or national origin.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Forever 21 has agreed to pay $1705.50 in back pay to the individual and $280 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo Justice Department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of one year.
“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision requires that the INA’s employment eligibility verification requirements be implemented in a nondiscriminatory manner without regard to citizenship status or national origin,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights. “The Civil Rights Division is fully committed to vigorously enforcing the anti-discrimination provision’s protections against discriminatory documentary practices.”
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call the OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a free webinar at www.justice.gov/about/osc/webinars.php , email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc