For Demanding Green Cards, Miami-Based Pizza Franchise Must Pay Civil Fine

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An example of a green card, from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

The Justice Department accepted a settlement with a Miami-based pizza franchise as a way to resolve an investigation into allegations the company violated immigration law by requiring legal resident workers born in the foreigner produce green cards as proof of eligibility for employment, but they failed. to demand a similar document from American citizen workers.

A Justice Department statement released last week did not say what type of documents would have been appropriate to require from citizens, but the issue was not so much the document as it was the fact that non-nationals were singled out. for allegedly discriminatory treatment when supervisors asked to see a green card but did not request a specific document from citizens.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring the rights of legitimate American workers to be free from discriminatory barriers based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin,” Deputy Attorney General said Acting Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division in a statement. “The responsiveness of Pizzerias throughout the investigation contributed to a rapid resolution of this matter. “

The settlement in the Pizzerias LLC case is just the latest in a series of similar cases the Department of Justice has brought against certain companies across the country in recent years.

In December, for example, the Justice Department reached an agreement resolving allegations that 1st Class Staffing LLC, a recruiting company in Orem, Utah, discriminated against non-U.S. Citizens authorized to work in violation. of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The department’s investigation, conducted by the Civil Rights Division’s Office of the Special Advocate for Unfair Immigration-Related Employment Practices, found that the 1st Class Staffing’s office in Fontana, Calif., Was asking regularly to non-citizens, but not US citizens, to provide specific immigration documents to establish their authority to work.

By law, all workers, including non-U.S. Citizens, must be allowed to choose which valid documents they wish to present from lists of acceptable documents to prove their authorization to work. It is illegal for an employer to limit an employee’s choice of documents based on citizenship, immigrant status, or national origin.

In the settlement agreement the Department of Justice announced last week with Pizzerias LLC, a pizza franchise with 31 locations in Miami, the department revealed that it was investigating the company over allegations that it discriminated against immigrants authorized to work when checking their work authorization. documents.

The ministry’s investigation concluded that pizza restaurants routinely asked lawful permanent residents to produce a specific document – a permanent resident or a green card – to prove their work authorization, without requesting a specific document from U.S. citizens.

Legal permanent residents often have the same work authorization documents as US citizens and can choose acceptable documents other than a green card to prove they are authorized to work.

Under the regulations, pizza restaurants must pay a civil fine of $ 140,000 in the United States, post notices informing workers of their rights under the anti-discrimination provision of the law, train their human resources staff, and be subject to ministerial monitoring and reporting requirements.

This story was originally published March 25, 2017 12:24 pm.


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Cecil N. Messick

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