Justice Dept. Sues California Healthcare Provider for Discrimination
The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit on September 30, 2011, against Generations Healthcare, a provider with skilled nursing facilities throughout California, alleging that it engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination by imposing unnecessary documentary requirements on naturalized U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens to work in the U.S. The Department noted that employers are prohibited by law from placing additional burdens on work-authorized employees during the process of hiring or when verifying their employment eligibility based on their citizenship status or national origin.
The DOJ’s investigation found that the company demanded that a work-authorized applicant produce a permanent resident card, also known as a “green card.” The applicant did not have a green card and instead presented an employment authorization document. The company rejected her valid documentation because it had a future expiration date and told her that it could not hire her to work at its St. Francis Pavilion facility unless she presented a green card. As a result, the applicant was unable to obtain employment with the company.
The department’s investigation also revealed that Generations Healthcare required all newly hired non-U.S. citizens and naturalized U.S. citizens at its St. Francis Pavilion facility to present specific and extra work authorization documents beyond those required by federal law to prove their status, a burden that was not placed on native-born U.S. citizens.
“Employers are not allowed to impose more burdensome employment eligibility verification procedures on certain workers based on their citizenship status,” noted Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
The DOJ’s media release announcing the lawsuit is available at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/September/11-crt-1301.html.