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April 25, 2014

Department of Justice (DOJ) Announces Settlement Agreement to Resolve Anti-Discrimination Claim Arising from the Improper Verification of Lawful Permanent Resident Status

On April 9, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement agreement with Milestone Management Company (“Milestone”), a residential property management firm based in Dallas, to resolve claims that the company had violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The Department initiated an investigation into Milestone’s employment verification practices based on the tip of a discharged employee, who alleged that the company impermissibly required the individual to submit an unexpired Permanent Resident Card even though the work authorization evidence he presented at the time of hire was proper. When the employee could not present this documentation, he was terminated. Furthermore, the Department’s investigation revealed that the company had improperly re-verified the work authorization of other Lawful Permanent Residents but did not do so for U.S. citizens, contrary to the INA’s prohibition on citizenship and national origin discrimination during the employment eligibility verification and re-verification processes.

In response to the government’s inquiry, Milestone immediately reinstated the affected employee with back pay and cooperated with the Department to provide information about its employment eligibility verification procedures and conduct corrective training for staff members. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the company will also pay $20,000 in civil penalties, undergo official training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and submit to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for three years.

©2014 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Nataliya Binshteyn, Immigration Attorney, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm
Associate

Nataliya Binshteyn focuses her practice on global business immigration matters. Her experience includes representing political asylum applicants in immigration proceedings before Asylum Officers and Immigration Judges. Nataliya has experience conducting client interviews, researching country conditions and applicable laws, and soliciting expert testimony as well as drafting affidavits and immigration documents for filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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