May 18, 2010

Government Settles Citizenship Status Discrimination Matter Against ValleyCrest Landscape

The Justice Department announced a settlement agreement with ValleyCrest Landscape Companies to resolve charges of hiring discrimination against U.S. citizens and other work-authorized domestic workers at its Virginia locations.

Under the agreement, ValleyCrest will modify its hiring policy to ex tend significantly the time period during which it will recruit U.S. workers for jobs that would otherwise be filled with H-2B temporary v isa holders. Specifically, ValleyCrest will recruit and hire domestic workers up until two weeks before H-2B workers are scheduled to begin work. It has also made other changes to its personnel practices and will provide full back pay of $11,173 to a U.S. citizen who applied for but was not given a job.

“Every individual who is authorized to work in this country has the right to know they will be free from discrimination, and that they will be on the same playing field as every other applicant or worker,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

The charges were filed by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition (MAROC) of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the antidiscrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which protect U.S. citizens and certain work-authorized individuals from citizenship status discrimination. The INA also protects all work-authorized individuals from national origin discrimination, over-documentation in the employment eligibility verification process, and retaliation.