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Press Release

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against New York Restaurant

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Levy Premium Foodservice Limited Partnership, doing business as Levy Restaurants, a national chain of sports arena restaurants.  The settlement resolves the department’s investigation of a charge filed by a work-authorized immigrant against Levy’s Barclay Center restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, alleging discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 

The department concluded, based on its investigation that Levy discriminated against two lawful permanent residents at its Barclay Center restaurant by improperly reverifying their employment eligibility because of their immigration status.  The department also determined that Levy improperly required them to present specific types of documents to re-establish their employment eligibility and suspended the charging party when he was unable to present such a document.  The antidiscrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from subjecting employees to unnecessary documentary demands based on the employee’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin.  

Levy cooperated with the department throughout the investigation, quickly reinstated the charging party, and restored his lost wages and leave benefits.  Under the settlement, Levy must pay a civil penalty to the United States, undergo department-provided training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.

“The Justice Department is committed to ensuring the rights of lawful U.S. workers to be free from discriminatory barriers based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division.  “We commend Levy for working with the Civil Rights Division to implement the corrective action resolving this matter.”

The division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), formerly known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, 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; retaliation and intimidation.   

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; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites.

Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to different documentary requirements based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin; or discrimination based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral, should contact IER’s worker hotline for assistance.

Updated February 2, 2017

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 17-144