CRIME: Justice Department Settles With Frozen Food Company In Order To Resolve Immigration Related Discrimination Claims

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

The Department of Justice announced today that it had reached a settlement with Buddy’s Kitchen Inc., a Minnesota-based frozen food distributor and producer. This settlement settles claims that Buddy’s Kitchen Inc. discriminated against non-U.S. citizens on the basis of their citizenship status in checking their permission to work here.

Employers cannot discriminate by asking workers to provide specific documents to prove permission to work. This is according to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Employers must permit all employees, U.S. citizens or not, to present any acceptable document to support their permission to work. The Civil Rights Division will continue its investigation and take appropriate action to prevent unlawful discrimination based on citizenship, immigration status, and national origin. We look forward working with Buddy’s Kitchen in order to ensure compliance with this settlement The department opened an investigation to see if the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provisions. The investigation by the department revealed that the company discriminated by asking non U.S. citizens (primarily permanent residents) to show specific documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security to prove their authorization to work in the United States. This request was not made of U.S citizens. Every employee has the right to choose which valid documentation to show to prove their permission to work in America.

The INA’s anti discrimination provision forbids employers from asking workers for documents that are not necessary. It also prohibits them from specifying what documentation a worker should have to show to prove permission to work. This is regardless of a worker’s nationality, citizenship, or immigration status.

Under the settlement, Buddy’s Kitchen will pay $40,000 in civil penalties, change their employment policies to comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and train its employees who are responsible for verifying workers’ permission to work in the United States.

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Sections (IER) are responsible for enforcing INA’s anti-discrimination provisions. The statute prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship and national origin when hiring, firing or recruiting or referring for a fee; unfair document practices ;, and retaliation ..

Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Learn more about how employers can avoid discrimination based on citizenship status on IER’s website .. file a charge Applicants and employees who feel they have been discriminated against because of their citizenship, immigration status or national origin may file an accusation .. The public can also call IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.

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