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Immigrants win civil rights settlement money in Iowa

An Iowa employment agency, LF Staffing Services, settle its case with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for improperly pre-screening job applicants during the hiring process.

The complaint states that in some cases LF Staffing rejected valid work authorization documents presented by certain immigrants residing in the country.

“The department found that LF Staffing Services did not permit job applicants to begin the application process unless they were able to present documents sufficient to establish their employment eligibility and further failed to permit at least one individual who presented valid Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to apply for employment,” a Department of Justice press release said.

Currently, immigrants with recognizable legal papers to work have rights according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It specifically prohibits employers from refusing valid employment documents on the basis of citizenship status or national origin.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision protects all authorized workers from unfair documentary requests during the Form I-9 process,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to stopping workplace discrimination against citizens and work-authorized non-citizens alike.”

As a result, LF Staffing Services Inc. will pay $1,100 in civil penalties as well as full back pay to any injured parties. Under the agreement LF Staffing Services will also train its human resources department regarding the employers’ nondiscrimination responsibilities in the I-9 process, and provide periodic reports to the DOJ.

The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) protects immigrants against discrimination in hiring, firing, retaliation and recruitment or referral for a fee on the basis of citizenship status and national origin.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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