Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Four California Car Reconditioning Companies
The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement agreement with four car reconditioning companies in California: Automotive Creations, Inc., Dynamic Auto Images, Inc., Prestige Auto Specialists, Inc., and Expert Automotive Reconditioning, Inc. (collectively, the Companies). The settlement resolves the Department’s investigation into whether the Companies violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against lawful permanent residents when verifying their authorization to work in the United States.
“The Civil Rights Division remains committed to ensuring that employers do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of citizenship, immigration status, or national origin when requesting documents to verify employees’ work authorization,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “We commend the Companies for their commitment to ensuring that all future documentary requests will comply with the law.”
The Department’s independent investigation concluded that, from at least October 2015 through at least August 2018, the Companies requested that lawful permanent residents produce unnecessary and specific immigration documents to prove their work authorization, even when they had provided other legally acceptable documents. The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on the employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. All work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, have the right to choose which legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States.
Under the settlement, the Companies will pay $159,000 in civil penalties to the United States and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements. Additionally, certain employees will be required to attend training on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.
The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Among other things, the statute prohibits citizenship, immigration status, and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
More information on how employers can avoid unlawful discrimination is available here. Workers can find information about their rights under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA here. For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, 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); sign up for a free webinar; email IER@usdoj.gov; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites.
Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to discrimination based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; or discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin; or retaliation can file a charge or contact IER’s worker hotline for assistance.