By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Department of Justice announced today has reached a settlement with Randstad North America Inc. (Randstad), a global staffing agency with offices throughout the United States and headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The settlement resolves the IER’s claims that the staffing company’s South Plainfield, New Jersey location, violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against lawful permanent residents when verifying their work authorization.

Based on its investigation, the IER concluded Randstad’s South Plainfield location repeatedly discriminated against lawful permanent residents by requiring them to present specific documents, such as Permanent Resident Cards, even when they had presented documentation to prove their work authorization status.

The investigation began because a lawful permanent resident filed a complaint with the IER. The IER also determined the South Plainfield location subjected her to this discriminatory practice on two occasions and refused to hire her based on her citizenship status, even though she was authorized to work.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Randstad will pay a civil penalty of $135,000 for its unlawful document requests to lawful permanent residents and pay $909 in back pay to the worker who lost wages when she was turned away from the job. Additionally, Randstad will revise and/or create employment policies for its South Plainfield branch that prohibit requesting more or different Form I-9 documents, specifying Form I-9 documents, or rejecting reasonably-genuine Form I-9 documents, because of an individual’s citizenship, immigration status, or national origin and prohibit any reprisal action against an employee for having opposed any employment practice made unlawful by 8 U.S.C. § 1324b; train its relevant South Plainfield location employees about the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, including using a training assessment and attending a webinar provided by the IER; post IER posters informing workers of their rights under the INA’s antidiscrimination provision, and be subject to departmental monitoring for two years.

If you want to know more about 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