By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Department of Justice has reached a settlement agreement with four car reconditioning companies in California: Automotive Creations, Inc., Dynamic Auto Images, Inc., Prestige Auto Specialists, Inc., and Expert Automotive Reconditioning, Inc. (collectively, the Companies). The settlement resolves the IER’s investigation into whether the Companies violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The IER’s investigation concluded, from at least October 2015 through at least August 2018, the Companies requested lawful permanent residents produce unnecessary and specific immigration documents to prove their work authorization, even when they had provided other legally acceptable documents. The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on the employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. All work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, have the right to choose which legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States.

Under the settlement, the Companies will pay $159,000 in civil penalties to the United States (Automotive Creations - $64,500, Expert Automotive - $45,000, Dynamic Auto - $34,000, and Prestige Auto - $15,000), revise employment policies related to immigration compliance, train its human resources personnel on the requirements of the INA’s antidiscrimination provision through attendance at an IER webinar, HR personnel pass a 20 question multiple choice test, post IER’s poster – “If You Have the Right to Work”, and be subject to departmental monitoring, training and reporting requirements for 3 years.

If you want to know more information on issues of citizenship status discrimination and employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at