Department of Justice Seal



FRIDAY, JULY 10, 1998

(202) 616 2765

TDD (202) 514 1888



WASHINGTON, D.C. A New York City attorney agreed this week to pay $16,500 in back pay and civil penalties to settle a national origin discrimination complaint filed against his law office by the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), of the Civil Rights Division.

The complaint, filed on behalf of Mabel Asconeguy, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Uruguay, alleged that the law office of Charles Krupin did not consider her for a clerk typist position because of her Hispanic accent. When Mrs. Asconeguy's daughter, who has no foreign accent, called the law office later the same day to inquire about the clerk/typist position, she was invited to come for an interview.

After investigating, OSC determined that there was

reasonable cause to file a complaint on behalf of Mrs. Asconeguy, who also filed her own complaint. The complaints allege that the firm violated the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of national origin and/or citizenship status.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, signed July 6, 1998, Mr. Krupin will pay Mrs. Asconeguy $15,000 in back pay, and will pay a civil penalty of $1,500 to the United States. In addition, Krupin will post a notice concerning his responsibilities under INA and will train personnel responsible for hiring employees.

"Treating someone differently for a job because of a foreign accent is national origin discrimination," said John D. Trasviña, Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. "All individuals, regardless of what country they came from or how they speak, should have equal opportunities to compete for employment positions."

The Office of Special Counsel was established by Congress

under the Immigration Reform and Control Act 1986 to enforce that

law's prohibition against employment discrimination based on

national origin and citizenship status. Since its inception, the office has received 6,000 charges. It has recovered over $1.8

million in back pay and over $1.2 million in civil penalties.

Individuals seeking more information about assistance

provided by OSC may call, toll free 1 800 255 7688 or 202 616

5594 or write to:

Office of Special Counsel for Immigration

Related Unfair Employment Practices

P.O. Box 27728

Washington, D.C. 20038 7728



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