Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against California Skilled Nursing Facility
The Justice Department reached a settlement agreement today with Villa Rancho Bernardo Care Center (VRB), a skilled nursing facility in San Diego. The agreement resolves the department’s investigation of VRB for discrimination against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The department’s investigation found that VRB discriminated against lawful permanent residents by requiring them to produce specific documents to prove their work authorization, while permitting U.S. citizens to show any valid work authorization documentation they chose. Specifically, during the interview and hiring processes, including in certain online job postings, VRB requested that lawful permanent residents produce a permanent resident card (often known as a “green card”). Lawful permanent residents are not required to show employers their permanent resident cards to work; like all workers, they can present their choice of valid documentation from the Department of Homeland Security’s lists of acceptable documents to establish their identity and work authorization. For example, lawful permanent residents can establish their work authorization by presenting a state or federal identification document and an unrestricted Social Security card.
Under the settlement agreement, VRB will pay $24,000 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo department-provided training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring requirements.
“The Civil Rights Division is committed to ensuring that individuals who are authorized to work in the United States do not face unlawful, discriminatory barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. “It is essential that employers review their employment eligibility verification practices to make sure they are in compliance with the law.”
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among other things, citizenship, immigration status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices in employment eligibility verification; retaliation; and intimidation.
To learn more about the protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); sign up for a free webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.
Applicants or employees who believe they have been subjected to: different documentary requirements based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin; or discrimination based on their citizenship status, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral, should contact OSC’s worker hotline for assistance.