The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced a settlement agreement with Catholic Health Care West (CHW) to resolve allegations that CHW engaged in a pattern or practice of citizenship status discrimination by imposing unnecessary and discriminitory hurdles to employment for work-authorized individuials.
According to the DOJ's findings, CHW required non-U.S. citizen and naturalized U.S. citizen new hires to present more and specific work authorization documents than required by federal law and permitted native born U.S. citizens to provide documents of their own choosing in the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. Under the terms of the settlement, CHW agreed to pay $257,000 in civil penalities and $1,000 in back pay to the charging party. Additionally, CHW also agreed to review its past I-9 practices at all of its 41 facilities in order to identify and compensate any additional victims of overdocumentation in the I-9 process who have lost wages as a result of the overdocumentation. Further, CHW agreed to train its recruitment personnel on its responsibilties not to discriminate and provide periodic reports to the DOJ for three years. CHW is the eighth largest hospital provider in the nation operating facilties in California, Nevada and Arizona. DOJ announced that the civil monetary penalities assessed against CHW were the largest amount of CMPs ever paid to resolve citizenship status employment discrimination.