San Diego, California - The Justice Department announced yesterday that it signed a settlement agreement with Fleetlogix Inc. (Fleetlogix) resolving claims that the company discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens by requiring them to provide specific and unnecessary work authorization documentation because of their citizenship or immigration status. Fleetlogix, based in San Diego, California, operates offices nationwide that provide cleaning and transportation services to rental car companies.
“The Immigration and Nationality Act requires employers to verify workers’ authorization to work in the United States and makes it illegal for employers to demand more or different documents than necessary, request specific documents, or reject reasonably genuine-looking documents because of a worker’s citizenship, immigration status, or national origin,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “We are encouraged that Fleetlogix will work with the Department of Justice to ensure that any work-authorized individuals who unfairly missed work opportunities as a result of the practices at issue will receive appropriate back pay.”
The department’s underlying investigation that led to the settlement showed that Fleetlogix required specific documents from work‑authorized non-U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), such as I-94s (an “arrival-departure” record that the Department of Homeland Security issues to certain non-U.S. citizens and which can be used for the Form I-9 in some circumstances), Employment Authorization Documents (sometimes known as “work permits”) or Permanent Resident Cards (sometimes known as “green cards”), even though these individuals already presented other valid and legally sufficient documents to prove work authorization, such as a driver’s license and unrestricted Social Security card.
The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status or national origin. Instead, in the INA, Congress determined that all work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, may choose which valid, legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States. The INA does, however, permit employers to reject non-genuine looking documents.
As part of the settlement, Fleetlogix will pay civil penalties to the United States totaling $627,000, create a back pay fund for individuals who lost work due to the discrimination, train relevant employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and change its policies and procedures.
The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
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’s reporting portal.
Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to discrimination based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; or discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin; or retaliation can file a charge or contact IER’s worker hotline for assistance