Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against New York Hotel
The Justice Department today announced that it has reached a settlement with MJFT Hotels of Flushing LLC (MJFT), the management company operating the Hyatt Place Hotel -- Flushing/Laguardia Airport in Queens, New York. The settlement resolves a complaint that the company discriminated against a work-authorized immigrant in violation of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The Department’s investigation, initiated based on a worker’s complaint, concluded that MJFT engaged in citizenship status discrimination against an asylee by removing him from the hiring process for a job at the hotel because he was not a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen. Asylees have permanent work authorization, like U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, refugees, and lawful permanent residents, and employers may not discriminate against them in hiring unless they have a specific legal justification for doing so.
Under the settlement agreement, MJFT will pay a civil penalty, train its staff, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements for three years.
“In general, employers may not restrict the employment opportunities of asylees because of their citizenship or immigration status,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department is committed to enforcing workplace laws that prohibit discrimination to ensure that individuals have an opportunity to be fully and fairly evaluated based on their merits when they apply for jobs.”
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. 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 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 retaliation; 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 for a fee, should contact IER’s worker hotline for assistance.