The Justice Department announced today that it won a lawsuit against Life Generations Healthcare LLC, doing business as Generations Healthcare (GHC), regarding allegations that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against foreign-born workers. The case was decided by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, the administrative court authorized to hear discrimination cases under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The court found that GHC, an assisted-living facility with 18 locations in California, violated the INA when it required foreign-born job applicants and employees to produce more, different, and specific documents to prove their employment eligibility verification, while native-born U.S. citizens were allowed to produce the documentation of their choice. The court also found that, in some cases, foreign-born individuals were prevented from working for the company even though they had sufficient proof of their work authorization. The case now moves to the remedial phase for the court to determine what relief GHC must provide for violating the law.
“Companies cannot create discriminatory barriers for workers and applicants based purely on where those individuals are born,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division. “This ruling sends a powerful message that this type of discrimination will not be tolerated.”
The case was tried by the Justice Department's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), which is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The statute prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized applicants or employees during the employment eligibility verification process because of their citizenship status or national origin. The statute also prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, as well as retaliation and intimidation.