Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Ohio Company
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement with Omnicare Inc. (Omnicare), a wholly owned subsidiary of CVS Health Corporation and provider of long-term care pharmacy services in Ohio, resolving the Department’s investigation into whether the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision.
The Department’s investigation, which was initiated in response to a worker’s complaint, revealed that Omnicare engaged in citizenship status discrimination against a work authorized job applicant by refusing to refer him to the hiring manager for an interview because he was not a permanent resident or U.S. citizen, and removing him from the candidate pool based on his status as an asylee. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against asylees because of their citizenship or immigration status, unless authorized by law to do so.
Under the settlement agreement, Omnicare will pay the maximum civil penalty for one instance of citizenship status discrimination, post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, train its staff and its contractors, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements for two years.
“Employers should ensure that all of the employees and contractors who screen their applicants for employment have the proper training to avoid improperly rejecting work authorized applicants based on a protected citizenship or immigration status,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division.
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.