WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The
U.S. Justice Department announced a lawsuit Nov. 14 against two
Washington state-based companies, Washington Potato Company and Pasco Processing LLC, alleging violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The department charges between
November 2013 and October 2016, Washington Potato and Pasco Processing required
non-U.S. citizens to provide documentation from a limited list for the Form I-9
and/or E-Verify form, while at the same time allowing U.S. citizens the
flexibility to present a variety of documents. The INA mandates that all workers
must be allowed to freely choose from among the valid documents that prove work
authorization. Under INA, employers cannot discriminate by limiting workers’
choices due to their citizenship status.
“Federal law protects
individuals with legal work authorization from facing discriminatory obstacles
during employment eligibility verification,” said principal deputy assistant
attorney general Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights
Division. “All people with legal employment status in the United States
must receive an equal opportunity to prove they can work, regardless of their
citizenship or immigration status.”
The Office of Special Counsel for
Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) enforces the
anti-discrimination provision of the INA.