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.