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The Justice Department announced today that it has reached an agreement with Vincent Porcaro Inc. (VPI) resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). VPI is a Rhode Island company that provides warehousing, distribution, light assembly and packaging for regional, national and international companies.
The department’s investigation was initiated based on a referral from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The department’s investigation found that VPI, beginning in October 2012, required non-citizens to present specific U.S. Department of Homeland Security-issued documents to establish their identity and work authorization while not making similar requests of U.S. citizens. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against noncitizens in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding more or different documents than U.S. citizens are required to present.
Under the settlement agreement, VPI agreed to provide training to its human resources personnel on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, pay $43,092 in civil penalties to the United States, create a $30,000 back pay fund to compensate individuals who suffered economic injuries as a result of VPI’s documentary practices, and be subject to monitoring by the department for a period of two years.
“Employers who create or change their employment eligibility verification policies and practices have an obligation to ensure that those changes are consistent with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA,” said Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The division is committed to identifying and addressing employer policies and practices that do not satisfy that obligation.”
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The case was handled by Trial Attorney Liza Zamd. 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, TTY for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-362-2735, TTY for hearing impaired), sign up for a no-cost webinar at www.justice.gov/about/osc/webinars.php , email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc .