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The Department of Justice today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with Cloud Peritus Inc., a California IT consulting services company. The settlement resolves the department’s claims that Cloud Peritus discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen by requesting that he present additional and unnecessary documents to prove his permission to work because of his citizenship status.
“Once employees have presented valid, acceptable documentation to prove their permission to work, employers cannot ask for more documentation because of the employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to ensuring all workers have the right to prove their permission to work free from unlawful discrimination.”
The department’s investigation determined that Cloud Peritus discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen by asking him for additional documentation to prove his permission to work, even though he had already provided sufficient documentation, based on his citizenship status. The investigation also revealed that the company’s discriminatory document request was partly caused by its misunderstanding of the software it used to verify employees’ permission to work, which the company believed required these documents from non-U.S. citizens.
The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from asking for more or different documents than necessary to prove their permission to work in the United States because of a worker’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin. Employers should allow workers to present whatever valid documentation the workers choose and cannot reject valid documentation that reasonably appears to be genuine.
Under the settlement, Cloud Peritus will pay a civil penalty to the United States. The settlement also requires Cloud Peritus to train staff on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.
The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Find more information on how employers can avoid citizenship status discrimination on IER’s website. Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, may file a charge. The public can also call IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email IER@usdoj.gov; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER. View the Spanish translation of this release here.