On March 5, 2018, the Justice Department announced that it signed a settlement agreement with West Liberty Goods, L.L.C., an Iowa-based meat processing business with a plant in Bolingbrook, Illinois. The Department had been investigating whether the company discriminated against work-authorized immigrants when it routinely asked non-U.S. citizens hired to present documentation, such as permanent resident cards or Employment Authorization Documents, to establish their work authority but did not make similar requests of U.S. citizens. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision, employers are prohibited from subjecting employees to more or different documentary demands based on the employee’s citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.
Under the agreed settlement, West Liberty Foods will pay a civil penalty of $52,100 to the government, ensure that its human resources staff participates in Justice Department training, and post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provisions. The company will also be subject to monitoring for two years.