Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Hartz Mountain Industries Inc.
The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Hartz Mountain Industries Inc. (Hartz) to resolve the department’s investigation into whether the company discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizen job seekers, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Hartz is a real estate development and management company based in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The department’s investigation found that Hartz discriminated based on citizenship status by publishing a job posting that required applicants for a particular job opening to be U.S. citizens, in violation of the INA. Job postings with citizenship preferences or requirements violate the INA by restricting employment opportunities available to work-authorized non-citizens. While there are exceptions in the INA that allow for specific positions to be subject to citizenship requirements, the position available at Hartz did not meet the criteria.
Under the settlement agreement, Hartz will pay $1,400 in civil penalties to the United States, train its human resources staff on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, review its policies and be subject to monitoring by the department for a three-year period.
“The Civil Rights Division is committed to identifying and tearing down discriminatory barriers that prevent work-authorized individuals from taking advantage of employment opportunities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanity Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division. “I commend Hartz for its cooperation during the investigation and for working to resolve this matter expeditiously.”
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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, should contact the worker hotline above for assistance.