The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) reached a resolution with Holliswood Hospital in Queens, N.Y. Charges were settled in an anti-discrimination action centering on a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) involving violations by the hospital.
The Hospital treated newly hired lawful permanent residents different than other hires by requiring them to provide more or different documents during the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. An individual previously employed at Holliswood was terminated when Holliswood noted the I-9 Form needed re-verification regardless of the fact that she had employment authorization. The employee involved brought the claim. The DOJ inquiry found Holliswood had more requirements for employment eligibility requirements for resident aliens than for U.S. citizen employees. The employee bringing the claim was fired and as a result brought the claim of discrimination by Holliswood's documentary requirement practices.
Employers are required to treat all employment eligible persons the same. A person's national origin or citizenship is not a determinate factor.
Holliswood settled with DOT to pay back wages of $1,182 and $5,000 in fines to the US. Holliswood also agreed to properly educate its HR staff about the I-9 verification process and agreed to reporting and compliance monitoring by the DOJ for 1.5 years.
“The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting all work authorized individuals from discriminatory practices in the employment eligibility verification process, which can create unwarranted barriers to the lawful employment of immigrant workers,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.