The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Master Klean Janitorial, a company based in Denver, resolving claims that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory documentary requests based on citizenship status in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The department’s investigation was initiated based on a referral from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The investigation found that Master Klean Janitorial subjected work-authorized non-U.S. citizen new hires to unlawful demands for specific documentation issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in order to verify their employment eligibility, while U.S. citizens were permitted to present their choice of documentation. The INA’s 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. This practice is commonly known as document abuse.
Under the settlement agreement, Master Klean Janitorial will pay $75,000 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, revise its employment eligibility verification policies and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for one year.
“The Department of Justice is committed to eliminating discriminatory hurdles for work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in the employment eligibility verification process,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “I am pleased that Master Klean Janitorial has worked cooperatively with the department to reach an amicable resolution.”
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among other things, citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee, document abuse and retaliation or intimidation
For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws or how to sign up for a free webinar, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired), call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired) or visit the OSC website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc .
Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to different documentary requirements or discrimination based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral should contact the worker hotline above for assistance.