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Immigration Law

$225K Settlement in Wa. I-9 Tussle: Wa. Potato Co. & Pasco Processing

DOJ, May 17, 2017 - "The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement agreement with Washington Potato Company and Pasco Processing, LLC, which operate a fruit and vegetable processing facility located in Pasco, Washington. The agreement resolves a discrimination lawsuit the Justice Department filed against the companies on Nov. 14, 2016.

The department’s lawsuit alleged that from at least Nov. 1, 2013, until at least Oct. 16, 2016, the companies routinely requested that lawful permanent residents hired at Pasco Processing produce a specific document – a Permanent Resident Card – to prove their work authorization, while not requesting a specific document from U.S. citizens. The department’s complaint alleged that Washington Potato directed and controlled Pasco Processing’s hiring practices, including the discriminatory documentary practices at issue. The antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits such unfair documentary requests when based on citizenship status or national origin.

Under the agreement, Washington Potato Company and Pasco Processing are required to pay civil penalties of $225,750, post notices informing workers about their rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, train their human resources personnel on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.