Justice Department Settles E-Verify Discrimination Claims Against Washington State-Based Home Care Provider
(STL.News) The Department of Justice announced today that it reached a settlement with Bianchi Home Care Inc. (Bianchi), a home care provider based in Washington state. The settlement resolves the department’s claims that Bianchi violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it discriminated against non-U.S. citizens through its use of E-Verify. Run by the Department of Homeland Security, E-Verify is an electronic program that enables enrolled employers to confirm that their employees have permission to work in the United States.
“Employers cannot use E-Verify to discriminate against employees because of their citizenship or immigration status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting workers from unlawful citizenship discrimination and removing discriminatory barriers from all stages of the hiring process.”
The department opened its investigation to determine whether Bianchi discriminated against non-U.S. citizens when using E-Verify. Based on its investigation, the department determined that Bianchi only used E-Verify to confirm the permission to work of its non-U.S. citizen employees and did not use the program for its U.S. citizen employees. Even though E-Verify found that all of Bianchi’s non-U.S. citizen employees had permission to work, by only subjecting them to E-Verify, Bianchi imposed an additional burden on them in the hiring process because of their citizenship or immigration status. Under the INA and the E-Verify program rules, employers cannot discriminate in their use of E-Verify based on citizenship or immigration status.
The settlement prohibits Bianchi from selectively using E-Verify to discriminate against employees based on their citizenship or immigration status. Additionally, Bianchi must train its employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, change its policies and procedures and be subject to monitoring for a three-year period.
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.