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Court: United States District Court for the District of Maryland (Baltimore County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Baltimore, Maryland civil litigation lawyers represented Defendant accused of discriminated against non-U.S. citizen worked when checking their permissin to work in the United States in violation of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Employers cannot treat employees differently because of citizenship, immigration status, or national origin when verifying their permission to work,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce the law to ensure that workers do not face discrimination when proving their permission to work in the United States.”
The department’s investigation determined that PMM routinely required specific documents from newly-hired non-U.S. citizens to prove they had permission to work in the United States. Specifically, the department found that PMM asked lawful permanent residents to show their permanent resident cards (sometimes known as “green cards”), and asylees and refugees to show their employment authorization documents (sometimes known as “work permits”), to prove their permission to work. At the same time, PMM allowed U.S. citizens to choose from among various acceptable document types.
Under the terms of the settlement, PMM will pay a civil penalty of $300,000 to the United States. Additionally, PMM will train staff on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, change its policies, and be subject to departmental monitoring for a three-year period.
Federal law allows workers to choose which valid, legally acceptable documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and permission to work, regardless of citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from asking for specific documents because of a worker’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin. Indeed, many non-U.S. citizens, including lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees, are eligible for several of the same types of documents to prove their permission to work as U.S. citizens (such as driver’s licenses and unrestricted social security cards). Employers should allow workers to present whatever acceptable documentation the workers choose and cannot reject valid documentation that reasonably appears to be genuine.
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 discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.