The company that owns the Beauty Smart chain of salons in Henderson, Oxford and Durham has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to end what the department called “pattern and practice national-origin discrimination” that violated the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The law prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status or national origin.
The complaint against the parent company, Sunlight Inc., alleged that it hired only Korean-born applicants. The DOJ filed the complaint after a woman who wasn’t Korean was denied a job despite being qualified.
Under the settlement, Sunlight will pay the applicant $2,000 in lost wages and pay a civil penalty of $500. Additionally, Sunlight must not discriminate based on national origin or citizenship in the future and must provide the DOJ with records showing it is in compliance.
Note: This case shows the federal government has more anti-discrimination tools than just Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Both the DOJ and the EEOC look for pattern-and-practice cases that betray a systemic bias against particular groups. Consistently hiring employees from the same ethnic group is a good way to catch the federal government’s eye.