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Friday, November 15, 2013

Justice Department and San Francisco Restaurant Settle Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim

The Justice Department today reached an agreement with Kim Hoang Coffee and Fast Food, a restaurant in San Francisco, resolving claims that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).


In a charge filed with the department, a work-authorized immigrant alleged, and the department found, that Kim Hoang Coffee and Fast Food improperly rejected valid work-authorization documents when re-verifying her authorization for employment, which caused the immigrant to believe she had been terminated.  The investigation also revealed that the employer believed she could ask non-U.S. citizens to produce specific documents to establish work authorization upon initial hire, but did not need to make similar demands of U.S. citizens.  The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against non-U.S. citizens in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding different documentation than U.S. citizens are required to present.


In response to the department’s investigation, Kim Hoang Coffee and Fast Food offered to rehire the charging party and provide back pay for the charging party’s month of lost wages.  Under the terms of the agreement, Kim Hoang Coffee and Fast Food must pay $485 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo 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 three years.  The employer also agreed to post the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices’ (OSC) “Right to Work” poster, which highlights the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  The case settled prior to the department filing a complaint in this matter.


“Imposing different documentary requirements on individuals based on their citizenship status during the employment eligibility verification process is discrimination prohibited by the INA,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels.  “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting U.S. citizens and all work-authorized immigrants from document abuse.”


The 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 (1-800-237-2525, TDD for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-362-2735, TDD for hearing impaired), sign up for a no-cost webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php, email osccrt@usdoj.gov or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc .

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014