May 29, 2013

Justice Department Reaches Settlement with Leading Texas Facility

The Justice Department announced recently that it has reached an agreement with ISS Facility Services Company resolving allegations that the company v iolated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). ISS, with headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, employs approx imately 1 5,000 employees in the United States. The Justice Department’s investigation was initiated based on a referral from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Serv ices (USCIS). The inv stigation focused on whether the ISS offices in Dallas and Houston were requiring non-citizens to present specific U.S. Department of Homeland Security -issued documents to establish their identity and work-authority while not making similar requests of U.S. citizens.

The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against noncitizens in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding more or different documents than U.S. citizens are required to present. According to the settlement agreement, ISS agreed to ensure that all its offices complied with the company ’s existing employment eligibility verification policies and procedures and to provide training of its human resources personnel on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. ISS also agreed to pay $49,800 to the United States and to identify and compensate any indiv iduals who may have suffered economic injuries as a result of its practices. Under the agreement, ISS’ employ ment eligibility verification practiceswill be subject to monitoring by the department for a period of two y ears.

“Employers cannot create higher hurdles for non-U.S. citizens in the employ ment eligibility verification process than those required of U.S. citizens unless required by law,” said Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civ il Rights Div ision. “We commend ISS for its ex emplary cooperation in working with the department to identify the source of the problems in its employ ment eligibility verification process at two of its offices and to work with the department in addressing those problems.”