The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement agreement Wednesday with wholesale produce company Pete Pappas & Sons in regard to violations of the Immigrant and Nationality Act (INA).
The antidiscrimination issue started when Pappas & Sons human resources required a new employee, who was a refugee, to produce more citizenship documentation than a driver’s license and an unrestricted Social Security card, which the employee had already presented.
The investigation concluded that a human resources employee at Pappas and Sons rejected valid documents and routinely requested unnecessary immigration documents from non-U.S. citizens because of their citizenship or immigration status, which, in the refugee worker’s case, delayed his start date. The INA prohibits employers from rejecting valid documents and making unnecessary requests for additional work eligibility documentation based on a worker’s citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.
The settlement agreement includes a civil penalty, back wages for the employee, required antidiscrimination training for Pappas and Sons human resources employees, and DOJ compliance monitoring.