The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that it has reached a settlement with the Hoover Company—which manufactures vacuum cleaners in El Paso—resolving allegations that its employment eligibility verification process discriminates against legal, permanent residents of the United States.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from treating permanent residents differently than U.S. citizens in the I-9 process. Permanent residents hold so-called green cards documenting their legal immigration status. Permanent residents—like U.S. citizens—are authorized to work in the United States even if their documentation has expired.
However, according to DOJ findings, Hoover required all permanent residents who presented a green card for I-9 purposes to produce new documentation if their old one expired. In contrast, the company didn’t require U.S. citizens to present new documents when their I-9 documents expired.
According to Thomas E. Perez of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, “All permanent residents in the United States have the right to continued employment without the burden of presenting new documentation when their green cards expire.”
Hoover will pay $10,200 in civil penalties and has agreed to train HR staff about employers’ nondiscrimination responsibilities in the I-9 process.