The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement agreement with Temple Beth El, a synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida that employs teachers and other staff. The settlement resolves the department’s claim that the synagogue, in staffing its preschool, discriminated against a non-U.S. citizen on the basis of citizenship status when verifying the individual’s authorization to work in the United States.
“Employers cannot discriminate against workers by asking them for specific documents to prove their authorization to work based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. “Employers must allow all employees, regardless of their citizenship status, to provide any valid and acceptable document of their choice to prove their authorization to work. We look forward to working with Temple Beth El to implement this policy and ensure its staff understand the correct process to use to avoid potential discrimination.
The department opened the investigation to determine whether the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) after receiving information from a member of the public. The department’s investigation found that the company had twice discriminated against a lawful permanent resident to submit specific documents to prove his authorization to work in the United States, without making such a request to American citizens. . All employees have the right to choose the valid documentation they wish to present when demonstrating that they have authorization to work in the United States.
The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from asking for unnecessary documents – or specifying the type of documents a worker must present – to prove their authorization to work, because of citizenship, immigration status or the national origin of a worker.
As part of the settlement, Temple Beth El will pay $4,144 in civil penalties, change its employment policies to comply with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and train its employees to verify workers’ authorization to work. in the USA.
The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. The law prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, recruiting, or orientation for compensation; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about the work of IER and how to get help with this short video. The IER website has more information on how employers can avoid discrimination when verifying a worker’s work authorization via Form I-9 or E-Verify. Applicants or employees who believe they have been discriminated against because of their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin during the hiring, firing, recruiting process, or in the eligibility verification process Employment (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subject to reprisals, may file a complaint. The public can also call the IER worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); call the IER employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); email IER@usdoj.gov; register for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. To subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from the IER. See the Spanish translation of this press release here.