Medical Parts Manufacturer Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Case

DC Precision Machining, Inc. reached a settlement with the Department of Justice to resolve allegations that the company required employees to present specific work authorization documents depending on citizenship status.

DC Precision Machining (DC) became the subject of investigation conducted by the Department of Justice's Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (the Department) after a U.S. citizen filed a discrimination charge against the California-based company. The Department's investigation determined that DC rejected the employee's unrestricted Social Security card as proof of her authorization to work in the U.S. The company further required the worker to provide an additional document (which was not necessary) prior to her starting the position. Upon the new hire indicating that she was unwilling to comply with this demand, DC withdrew the job offer.

The Department's investigation uncovered that this was not an isolated incident; the company routinely requested both unnecessary and specific work authorization documents from all new employees, limiting each individual's choice of documents based on citizenship status. In particular, U.S. citizens were required to produce a U.S. Passport or birth certificate. Aliens were required to present an immigration document to prove work authorization status, even when a different, acceptable document had previously been produced indicating the individual's authorization to work in the U.S.

Terms of this settlement include civil penalties to be paid by DC to both the U.S. ($13,400) and the affected employee who filed the claim ($21,360). Additionally, DC will be required to train employees on the terms of the INA's anti-discrimination provision which will include an IER-provided training. The company will furthermore be subject to a two-year monitoring period to ensure compliance with the terms of the settlement.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from requesting different documents or additional, unnecessary documentation during the Form I-9 process. The provision also prohibits employers from limiting employees' choice of documents utilized in proving work authorization status.

Employers are encouraged to periodically review the Form I-9 List of Acceptable Documents and routinely evaluate internal procedures regarding Section 2 completion.

Posted: September 22, 2021

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