Department of Justice Seal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CR

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 1999

(202) 616-2777

WWW.USDOJ.GOV

TDD (202) 514-1888

OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL SETTLES

CITIZENSHIP STATUS DISCRIMINATION CASE


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A New York company has agreed to pay $10,000 in back pay to settle an immigration related discrimination complaint, under an agreement announced today with the Justice Department's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC).

The settlement resolves a complaint alleging that, in September 1997, Martin Ornamental Iron Works Corporation of Elmont, New York, refused to hire a qualified U.S. citizen because it preferred to hire an unauthorized worker for whom it was seeking permanent labor certification and an immigrant visa, or "green card."

For labor certification to be granted by the U.S. Department of Labor, the employer must demonstrate that there are no qualified and available U.S. workers for the position.

OSC determined there was reasonable cause to believe that the U.S. citizen was denied the ornamental ironworker position because of his citizenship status, and filed a complaint alleging that Martin violated the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This provision makes it illegal for employers of four or more employees to discriminate on the basis of national origin and/or citizenship status, among other things.

"Treating someone differently because they are or are not a U.S. citizen is citizenship status discrimination," said Special Counsel John D. Trasviña. "The U.S. job applicant was qualified and available for the job and should have been hired."

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Martin will pay $10,000 in back pay, post a notice concerning its legal hiring responsibilities and train personnel responsible for hiring employees.

The Office of Special Counsel protects against employment discrimination based on national origin and citizenship status. Since its inception, the office has recovered more than $1.8 million in back pay for protected workers and $1.2 million in civil fines.

Individuals seeking more information about immigration related employment discrimination may call, toll-free, 1-800-255-7688. Assistance is available in all languages. Or write to:

Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related

Unfair Employment Practices

P.O. Box 27728

Washington, D.C. 20038-7728

www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc

E-mail address: osc@usdoj.gov

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