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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against Las Vegas Casino for Unfair Documentary Practices

The Justice Department today reached an agreement with Tuscany Hotel and Casino LLC in Las Vegas resolving a lawsuit alleging that the company discriminated in the employment eligibility verification and re-verification process. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers to treat all authorized workers equally during the hiring, firing and employment eligibility verification process, regardless of their national origin or citizenship status.

The department’s case, filed on May 11, 2012, alleged that Tuscany treated non-citizens differently from U.S. citizens during the employment eligibility verification and reverification process. The complaint alleged the casino required non-citizen employees to provide more or different documents or information than it required from citizen employees during the initial employment eligibility verification process. According to the complaint, the company then used the documents or information it gathered to impose improper document requests on non-citizens during the reverification process as a condition of continued employment. The complaint further alleged that the casino subjected non-citizen employees’ documents to a heightened review process by senior human resources representatives that was not applied to documents presented by U.S. citizens.

Under the settlement agreement, Tuscany will pay $49,000 in civil penalties to the United States and full back pay to a victim.  In addition to corrective action already taken, Tuscany also agrees to implement new employment eligibility verification policies and procedures that treat all employees equally regardless of citizenship status, conduct training of its human resources staff on their responsibilities to avoid discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process, and be subject to reporting and monitoring requirements. 

“Employers may not treat authorized workers differently during the employment eligibility verification and reverification process based on their citizenship status or national origin,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “ I am pleased that Tuscany Hotel and Casino has worked cooperatively with the department to reach an amicable resolution, and encourage the casino industry to include the anti-discrimination provision of the INA as an integral part of part of their statutory and regulatory compliance program.”

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, which protects work authorized individuals from employment discrimination on the basis of citizenship status or national origin, including discrimination in hiring, firing and the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) process.  For more information about protections against employment discrimination under federal immigration law, call the OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD 1-800-237-2525), the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (TDD 1-800-362-2735), sign up for a no-cost webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc .

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Updated September 15, 2014