By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The Department of Justice, through the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Civil Rights Division, reached a settlement with WinCraft, Incorporated (WinCraft), a Minnesota-based sports manufacturing company. The settlement resolves allegations that WinCraft violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Based on its investigation, the IER concluded WinCraft required unnecessary and specific documents from lawful permanent residents, such as requiring these workers to show their Permanent Resident Cards to prove they were authorized to work. The INA provides green card holders may choose which documentation to provide. Additionally, WinCraft required lawful permanent residents show updated proof of their work authorization when their Permanent Resident Cards expired, even though federal rules prohibit such practice and these workers continued to be authorized to work based on their status as lawful permanent residents.

The INA 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 INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.

Under the terms of the settlement, WinCraft will pay to the United States a civil penalty of $5,400, train its employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discriminatory provisions, through a training assessment and IER webinar, post an English and Spanish version of IER’s “If You Have The Right to Work” poster, review and, if necessary, revise or create any existing employment policies that relate to nondiscrimination in hiring, employment eligibility verification and reverification, and be subject to departmental reporting and monitoring requirements for three years.

If you want to know more about issues of immigration status discrimination, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.