Department of Justice Seal



MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2000

(202) 514-2007


TDD(202) 514-1888



WASHINGTON, D.C. C Reflecting a cooperative effort between government and private business, Denny's, Inc. today agreed to retrain all of its managers at its company-owned restaurants on the proper procedures for verifying that a new employee is eligible to work in the United States, the Justice Department announced today.

The agreement resolves an investigation alleging that managers in its company-owned restaurants in San Diego requested specific documents from newly hired non-citizen employees proving they were eligible to work in the United States. Under the law, however, employers may not demand specific identification documents, but must allow newly hired employees to choose which of several documents they want to produce to prove they are eligible to work here.

"Immigration law gives each new worker the right to choose which document or documents to present in seeking to establish that they are eligible to work in the United States. Today's settlement protects this right for all workers," said John Trasviña, Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. "We are pleased by the company's cooperative spirit in resolving the matter."

Today's agreement follows an 18-month investigation by the Justice Department's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC).

As part of the settlement, Denny's will retrain all of its company restaurant managers and post notices in hundreds of company-owned restaurants on proper employment eligibility verification procedures to ensure fairness in applying the law and preserving jobs for all those who are legally eligible to work. In addition, the company will pay $89,400 in civil penalties.

"Even though the investigation focused solely on San Diego area restaurants, Denny's is taking steps to ensure that managers at every one of its company owned restaurants across the country do not make the same mistake,@ added Trasviña.

The Office of Special Counsel was established by Congress under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 which prohibits employment discrimination based on national origin and citizenship status. Individuals seeking more information about assistance provided by OSC, may call toll-free, 1-800-255-7688 or 202-616-5594, or write to: