By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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The Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached a settlement with McDonald’s USA LLC and its corporate affiliates and subsidiaries (McDonald’s) resolving allegations that McDonald’s discriminated against immigrant employees of McDonald’s-owned restaurants.

The OSC opened its investigation based on information received on its worker hotline. The investigation found that McDonald’s had a longstanding practice of requiring lawful permanent residents (LPRs) to show a new permanent resident card when their original document expired. The law clearly prohibits this practice because an individual does not lose their permanent resident status when their card expires. (On the other hand, when a work authorization card expires, it must be re-verified or the company will be employing an undocumented worker.) The investigation further found that the company did not make the equivalent request to its U.S. citizen employees who showed documents that later expired, such as a U.S. passport. The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the employment eligibility verification process because of their citizenship or immigration status.

Those LPRs who were asked and could not provide a new permanent resident card were not allowed to work, which resulted in some employees losing their jobs.

LPRs have authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. As proof of that status, a LPR receives a permanent resident card, commonly called a “Green Card,” but LPRs are eligible to use various documents that show their eligibility to work. LPRs do not have to show their permanent resident cards to show their eligibility to work. Like all workers, they can choose whatever valid documentation they want to establish their employment authorization. Furthermore, LPRs who decide to show an unexpired permanent resident card are not required to present any additional