The Justice Department today announced that it has signed a settlement agreement with Northgate Gonzalez Markets Inc., a California-based supermarket chain, and Northgate Gonzalez Financial LLC d / b / a Prospera Gonzalez, an affiliate of Loan on salary (collectively, Northgate).

The settlement resolves an allegation that Northgate discriminated against a worker with asylum status when verifying his eligibility to work in the United States and fired him when he failed to meet discriminatory demands from the United States. company, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

“Employers must treat all workers who have the right to work in the United States fairly and according to the law, regardless of their citizenship, immigration or national origin status,” Attorney General said Acting Assistant John B. Daukas of the Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to protecting workers from illegal discrimination.

Based on its investigation, the department concluded that Northgate did not allow a worker with asylum status to provide their choice of valid documents to show they were authorized to work in the United States. Instead, when the employee offered to present an unrestricted Social Security card, which is legally sufficient to prove work authorization during the re-verification process, Northgate rejected the document, demanded a document that the worker did not and fired the worker when he did not show up. this. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more documents or documents other than those needed to prove a work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status or national origin. Instead, in the INA, Congress determined that all persons authorized to work, regardless of their citizenship status, can choose which valid and legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States. The INA, however, allows employers to reject documents that do not appear to be authentic.

Under the settlement agreement, Northgate will pay more than $ 22,000 in back wages to the injured worker; pay a civil fine in the United States; review its policies and procedures; and train the employees concerned on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.

The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The law prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, recruiting or counseling for pay; unfair documentary practices; and reprisals and intimidation.

Learn more about the work of the IER and how to get help with this short video. Candidates or employees who believe they have been discriminated against because of their citizenship, immigrant status or national origin during hiring, firing, recruiting or during the process of verifying employment eligibility (for example, Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to reprisals, can file a complaint. The public can also contact the IER worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call the IER employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); email [email protected]; sign up for a free webinar; or visit the IER English and Spanish websites. To subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.

The Civil Rights Division wants to hear about civil rights violations. Members of the public can report possible civil rights violations through the Civil Rights Division reporting portal.