On July 3, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement agreement with Stellar Staffing, LLC, an employment agency based in Birmingham, AL, over allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by requiring non-U.S. citizens to produce specific documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the employment eligibility verification process, while at the same time permitting U.S. citizens to present a variety of documents showing identity and work authorization. Under the INA, unequal treatment of employees based on citizenship status is prohibited during the employment verification process. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the company will pay $2,500 in civil penalties, undergo training on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and be subject to DOJ monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for one year.
In addition, on July 2, 2013, the DOJ announced a settlement agreement with Vincent Porcaro, Inc., a Rhode Island-based company specializing in warehousing, distribution, light assembly, and packaging services, over allegations that the company similarly required non-U.S. citizens to produce specific documents during the employment eligibility verification process in contrast to their U.S. citizen counterparts. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the company will pay $43,092 in civil fines, undergo DOJ monitoring for a period of two years, train human resources personnel on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and create a $30,000 back pay fund to compensate individuals who experienced economic harm as a result of the company’s improper employment eligibility verification practices.