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.

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