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Immigration News

Justice Department Settles Hoover Employment Discrimination Case

The Justice Department today announced that it has reached a settlement agreement with Hoover Inc., a leading manufacturer of vacuum and carpet cleaners with facilities in Ohio and Texas, to resolve allegations that Hoover engaged in a pattern or practice of employment discrimination by imposing unnecessary and discriminatory hurdles in the I-9 process upon lawful permanent residents.

According to the department’s findings, Hoover required all permanent residents who presented a permanent resident card (green card) for I-9 purposes to produce a new green card when theirs expired. In contrast, Hoover’s U.S. citizen workers were not required to present new documents. Like U.S. citizens, permanent residents are always work authorized, regardless of the expiration of their documentation. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from treating permanent residents differently than U.S. citizens in the I-9 process.

Under the terms of the settlement, Hoover has agreed to pay $10,200 in civil penalties. Hoover will also train its human resources personnel about employers’ nondiscrimination responsibilities in the I-9 process, and it will provide periodic reports to the department for one year.

“All permanent residents in the United States have the right to continued employment without the burden of presenting new documentation when their green cards expire,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We are pleased to have reached the settlement with Hoover and look forward to continuing to work with all employers, both public and private, to educate them about their responsibilities under federal law.”

The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, which protects work authorized individuals against discrimination in hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee on the basis of citizenship status and national origin. The INA also protects all work-authorized individuals from discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process and from retaliation.

For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call 1-800-255-7688 (OSC’s worker hotline) (1-800-237-2525, TDD for hearing impaired), 1-800-255-8255 (OSC’s employer hotline) (1-800-362-2735, TDD for hearing impaired), or 202-616-5594; email osccrt@usdoj.gov ; or visit OSC’s website at www.justice.gov/crt/osc.