The Department of Justice announced today that it reached a settlement with JP Senior Healthcare LLC and JP Senior Management LLC, resolving the department’s claims that these companies violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against a Latino employee based on assumptions that the worker was not a U.S. citizen.

JP Senior Management manages two nursing facilities owned by JP Senior Healthcare: Pioneer Valley Living and Rehab located in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, and Goldenrod Manor Care Center located in Clarinda, Iowa.

Based on its investigation, the department determined that while verifying a new employee’s legal right to work in the United States, JP Senior Healthcare and JP Senior Management rejected the U.S. citizen’s valid driver’s license and unrestricted Social Security card. The investigation further concluded that the companies demanded that the worker instead present a Permanent Resident Card based on the companies’ incorrect belief that the worker was not a U.S. citizen, even after the worker explained that he was a U.S. citizen, and therefore, not eligible for a Permanent Resident Card. Additionally, the department determined that these documentary demands resulted in the end of the worker’s employment. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship status or national origin. Instead, all work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status or national origin, may choose which valid, legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States.

“Employers must treat all workers fairly and consistent with the law, without making assumptions about a worker’s citizenship based on appearance or Hispanic national origin,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to ensuring that workplaces are free of discrimination.”

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, JP Senior Healthcare LLC and JP Senior Management LLC will pay a civil penalty to the United States; pay the injured worker back pay plus interest; and train relevant employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits citizenship or immigration status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and 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; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER. View the Spanish translation of this press release here.

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