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Press Release

Justice Department Settles with New York-Based Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Company to Resolve Immigration-Related Discrimination Claims

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it reached a settlement with LNK International Inc. (LNK), a Hauppauge, New York-based manufacturer of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. The settlement resolves the department’s claims that LNK violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens.  

Based on its investigation, the department determined that LNK routinely requested unnecessary and specific documents from lawful permanent residents that the company hired for work in certain departments to prove that they were allowed to work in the United States. The department’s investigation determined that LNK requested that lawful permanent residents show their Permanent Resident Cards (sometimes known as “green cards”) to prove their work authorization, but allowed U.S. citizens to choose from among various acceptable document types. According to the department, LNK also had an unlawful policy of requiring refugees and asylees, based on their immigration status, to show updated proof of their work authorization, even when they already had provided documents that demonstrated ongoing, permanent work authorization. 

“Employers cannot discriminate against employees because of their citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin when verifying that employees are authorized to work in the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department looks forward to working with LNK to ensure its compliance with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, so that all employees are subject to the same rules for proving their ability to work in the United States.”

Federal law allows all work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, to choose which valid, legally acceptable documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and authorization to work in the United States. Many non-U.S. citizens, including lawful permanent residents, refugees, and asylees, among others, have work authorization that does not expire, and are eligible for several of the same types of documents as U.S. citizens (such as driver’s licenses and unrestricted Social Security cards) to prove their work authorization. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, LNK will pay the United States a civil penalty of $220,000.00. Additionally, LNK will train its employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, including an IER-provided training, and be subject to monitoring for a three-year period to ensure the company is complying with the agreement.  

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.  

Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, can file a charge. The public also can contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.

Updated May 27, 2021

Agreement.pdf   [PDF, ]
Press Release Number: 21-490