Justice Department Settles with Minnesota-Based Company to Resolve Discrimination Claims Under the Immigration and Nationality Act
(STL.News) – The Department of Justice announced today that it reached a settlement with WinCraft, Incorporated (WinCraft), a Minnesota-based sports manufacturing company with locations in Iowa, Florida, and Washington. The settlement resolves claims that WinCraft violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by requiring lawful permanent residents to provide specific work authorization documentation without any legal justification because of their immigration status.
“Companies large and small must abide by the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) requirements not to discriminate,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “We are pleased that WinCraft will work with the Department of Justice to ensure that its policies and practices comply with the INA’s requirements applicable to workers with the legal right to work in the United States.”
Based on its investigation, the department concluded that WinCraft required unnecessary and specific documents from lawful permanent residents, such as requiring these workers to show their Permanent Resident Cards (sometimes known as “green cards”), to prove their work authorization. Additionally, according to the department, WinCraft required that lawful permanent residents show updated proof of their work authorization when their Permanent Resident Cards expired, even though federal rules prohibit such practice and these workers continued to be authorized to work based on their status as lawful permanent residents.
Federal law allows all work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, to choose which valid, legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.
Under the terms of the settlement, WinCraft will pay to the United States a civil penalty of $5,400, train its employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discriminatory provision (including through a training assessment and Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) webinar), and be subject to departmental monitoring to review compliance with the settlement.
The Civil Rights Division’s IER is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, can file a charge. The public also can contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email IER@usdoj.gov; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites.