The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on June 3, 2020, reached a settlement with a Rhode Island manufacturing business over an immigration-related claim that alleged discrimination and retaliation against a U.S. citizen employee.
ChemArt, a company that manufactures ornaments and collectibles, offered the worker a human resources position. The employer then unlawfully asked her to provide an immigration document for employment eligibility verification based on her perceived citizenship status in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). When the employee complained about the discriminatory practices, the company retaliated against her by withdrawing the job offer.
ChemArt agreed to pay a $3,000 civil penalty for the violations as per the terms of the settlement. The employer will also provide the worker with back pay, train staff about the work authorization verification process, and review its application materials to ensure compliance with antidiscrimination laws. The company will also submit to DOJ monitoring for three years.
The DOJ launched an investigation into ChemArt after the employee filed a discrimination complaint against the company. Under the INA’s antidiscrimination provision, employers are prohibited from requesting specific employment eligibility documents based on a person’s citizenship status or national origin. The law also makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for objecting to employer misconduct or discrimination.