Seattle Co. Pays $40K+ to Settle I-9 Discrimination Case

"The Justice Department reached an agreement today with SK Food Group Inc., a company based in Seattle, resolving claims that the company used discriminatory document practices when verifying the work authority of non-citizens.

The department’s investigation, which was initiated based on a referral from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), found that SK Food required work-authorized non-U.S. citizens to produce specific Department of Homeland Security documents to prove their work authority in connection with the company’s employment eligibility verification process, but did not make similar demands of U.S. citizens. Such discriminatory practices are prohibited under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Under the agreement, SK Food must pay $40,500 in civil penalties to the United States; identify and provide back pay to any individuals who suffered lost wages as a result of the company’s alleged discriminatory documentary practices; undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA; and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for one year.

“Employers cannot create discriminatory obstacles for work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in the employment eligibility verification process,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division." - DOJ, Apr. 21, 2014.