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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Justice Department Settles Retaliation Claim Against Louisiana Shipbuilding Company

The Justice Department announced today that it reached an agreement with North American Shipbuilding LLC, a company located in Larose, Louisiana.  The agreement resolves a complaint filed with the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), claiming that the company retaliated against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination with OSC.   

Based on its investigation, the department determined that North American Shipbuilding retaliated against an employee for filing a charge with OSC by, among other things, barring him from the company’s business facilities.  The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from intimidating, threatening, coercing or retaliating against workers who file a charge under the law.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company has agreed, among other things, to pay a civil penalty and to offer $15,000 in back pay to the injured party.  The company also has agreed to train its employees on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and to review and revise its employment policies.

“Retaliation against employees for contacting government agencies entrusted to investigate possible violations of the law will not be tolerated,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.  “Employees should not be afraid to speak up about their treatment in the workplace.”         

OSC 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.  Trial Attorney Katherine E. Lamm investigated this matter. 

For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); sign up for a free webinar at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php, email osccrt@usdoj.gov; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.  

15-1276
Topic: 
Civil Rights
Updated November 10, 2016