By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice has reached a settlement agreement with U.S. Security Associates Inc. (USSA), and its successor, Allied Universal Holdco LLC (Allied Universal), the largest private security firm in the United States. The settlement resolves a claim that USSA’s Falls Church, Virginia office violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens. The settlement applies to USSA and Allied Universal.

The investigation concluded from at least January 1, 2015, to July 30, 2018, USSA’s Falls Church office required lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to provide specific documentation to prove their work authorization, while not imposing a similar requirement on U.S. citizens. Federal law allows all work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship status, to choose which valid, legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States. The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship status or national origin.

Under the settlement, USSA or its successor will pay $194,000 in civil penalties to the United States, 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, post IER’s poster – “If You Have the Right to Work”, and be subject to departmental monitoring, training and reporting requirements for 2 years.