The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a settlement agreement with a Florida employer. This agreement is intended to resolve the DOJ’s claims that the employer allegedly discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen in the I-9 process. According to the DOJ, the employer violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, prohibiting employers from asking for unnecessary documents or specifying what documents workers should present for permission to work because of citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.
In this case, the DOJ claimed that the employer asked a lawful permanent resident to present specific documents to prove their permission to work in the U.S., but no such request was made of U.S. citizens. The DOJ noted that all employees have the right to choose valid documentation they wish to present on the Form I-9. “Employers must allow all employees, regardless of their citizenship status, to provide any valid, acceptable document of their choice to prove their permission to work,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. Under the agreement, the employer will pay $4,144 in civil penalties, change its employment policies to ensure compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act, and properly train appropriate employees on verifying workers’ permission to work during the I-9 process.
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