The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) says it has reached an agreement with a Miami-based company over claims that the company discriminated against work-authorized Caribbean and other immigrants when verifying their work authorization.
The DOJ said the agreement was reached with Brickell Financial Services Motor Club, Inc, otherwise known as Road America Motor Club, Inc (Road America), resolving the department’s investigation into whether the company violated the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The department concluded, based on its investigation, that Road America routinely requested that lawful Caribbean and other permanent residents show their Permanent Resident Cards to prove their work authorization but did not request specific documents from US citizens.
Lawful permanent residents often have the same work authorization documents available to them as US citizens, and may choose acceptable documents other than a Permanent Resident Card to prove they are authorised to work, the DOJ said.
It said the investigation further revealed that Road America required lawful permanent resident employees to re-establish their work authorisation when their Permanent Resident Cards expired, even though US federal rules prohibit this practice.
The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from subjecting employees to unnecessary documentary demands based on the employees’ citizenship or national origin, the DOJ said.
“When verifying the work authorisation of employees, employers may not erect unnecessary barriers based on employees’ citizenship or national origin,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division.
“Employers must ensure they are aware of their legal obligations to avoid discrimination, and we applaud Road America for committing itself to do so through this settlement,” he added.
Under the settlement, the DOJ said Road America will pay a civil penalty of US$34,200 and pay US$1,044 to compensate an unidentified worker who lost wages due to its unfair documentary practices.
The DOJ said Road America has also agreed to post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, train their human resources personnel, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.