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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against a Georgia Construction Company

The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with Constructor Services Inc. (CSI), a construction company headquartered in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area.  The agreement resolves a claim that the company engaged in discriminatory documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).   

The department’s investigation found that CSI required non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly-situated U.S. citizens, to produce specific documentary proof of their immigration status for the purpose of verifying their employment eligibility.  The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from making additional and unauthorized documentary demands based on citizenship status or national origin when verifying or re-verifying an employee’s employment eligibility. 

 “Employers must make sure that they are not erecting unlawful discriminatory barriers in their employment eligibility verification policies and practices,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division.  “The division is committed to identifying and tearing down these illegal barriers.”

Under the settlement agreement, CSI will pay $18,000 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, revise its employment eligibility reverification policies, and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for twenty-four months.

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) within the Justice Department is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  Among other things, the statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation and intimidation. 

For more information about 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 osccrt@usdoj.gov; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.   

Applicants or employees who believe they were 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 for a fee, should contact OSC’s worker hotline for assistance.

Updated August 28, 2015