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Justice Department Settles I-9 Compliance Case

The Justice Department recently made an investigation into the I-9 compliance practices of Hoover, Inc. a manufacturer of vacuum and carpet cleaning equipment. The agency found that the manufacturer treated holders of green cards differently than U.S. citizen workers.

The Justice Department announced yesterday it has reached a settlement with Hoover regarding the allegations of engaging in a pattern of employment discrimination against lawful permanent residents in the I-9 compliance process.

Federal law prohibits employers from treating permanent residents differently than U.S. citizens in the I-9 process. The Justice Department found that Hoover required green card holders to produce a new green card for I-9 purposes when the green card expired. U.S. citizens were not required to provide any new documentation for I-9 purposes.

A Civil Rights Division attorney for the Justice Department, Thomas E. Perez says "all permanent residents in the United States have the right to continued employment without the burden of presenting new documentation when their green cards expire." The Immigration and Naturalization Act provides discrimination protections for work-authorized individuals.

The protections include employment eligibility verification in the I-9 process as well as protection from employer retaliation. The INA protects against discrimination based upon citizenship and national origin for all work authorized individuals in hiring, firing and recruitment.

Hoover has agrees to train human resource personnel in the I-9 process and provide the Justice Department with periodic reports on its I-9 procedures for one year. Hoover will pay $10,200 in civil penalties under the settlement agreement with the agency.

Source: Hispanically Speaking News, "Justice Department Settles Hoover Employment Discrimination Case," 11 Nov 2010

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