DOJ Settles Immigration Related Discrimination Claim Against Pizza Chain

 DOJ

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The United States Department of  Justice (DOJ) has reached a settlement agreement with Pizzerias, LLC that resolves the DOJ’s investigation into whether the pizza delivery chain based in Miami, Florida violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with discrimination against work-authorized immigrants when checking their work authorization documents, according to a DOJ press release.

The DOJ found Pizzerias routinely requested that lawful permanent residents (LPRs) produce a specific document – a Permanent Resident Card – to prove work authorization, while not requesting a specific document from U.S. citizens. LPRs often have the same work authorization documents available to them as U.S. citizens, and may choose acceptable documents other than a Permanent Resident Card.

The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from subjecting employees to unnecessary documentary demands based on citizenship or national origin. Under the DOJ settlement, Pizzerias must pay a penalty of $140,000, post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA, train their human resources personnel, and be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements.

“The Justice Department is committed to ensuring the rights of lawful U.S. workers to be free from discriminatory barriers based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division said in the press release. “Pizzerias’ responsiveness throughout the course of the investigation assisted in a speedy resolution of this matter.”

The INA prohibits citizenship, immigration status, and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation and intimidation. The complete press release from the DOJ is available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-settles-immigration-related-discrimination-claim-against-florida-pizza.

Avoid Discrimination When Checking Work Authorization of Employees

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States. Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a global background check firm – is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps employers with Form I-9 and E-Verify compliance to ensure a legal workforce and avoid discrimination. For more information about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

Related Blog: USCIS Issues Instructions for Employers to Download Historic Records Reports in E-Verify by March 31

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