The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a settlement with Randstad North America Inc. (Randstad), a global staffing agency with offices throughout the United States and a headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The settlement resolves the department’s claims that the staffing company’s South Plainfield, New Jersey location, violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against lawful permanent residents when verifying their work authorization.
“Staffing agencies must properly train their employees not to require more or different work authorization documents than specified by law, because of a worker’s citizenship status,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “We commend Randstad for its commitment to ensuring that its hiring and onboarding activities comply with this law.”
Based on its investigation, the department concluded that Randstad’s South Plainfield location repeatedly discriminated against lawful permanent residents by requiring them to present specific documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards, even when they had presented sufficient documentation to prove their work authorization.
The investigation began because a lawful permanent resident filed a complaint with the department. The department also determined that the South Plainfield location subjected her to this discriminatory practice on two occasions and refused to hire her based on her citizenship status, even though she was authorized to work.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Randstad will pay a civil penalty of $135,000 for its unlawful document requests to lawful permanent residents and provide $909 in back pay to the worker who lost wages when she was turned away from the job. Additionally, Randstad will train its relevant South Plainfield location employees about the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, including using a training assessment and attending a webinar provided by the Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER).
IER is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among other things, citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, can file a charge. The public also can contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email IER@usdoj.gov; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.