Office of Public Affairs Justice Department confirms settlement with Tennessee trucking companies to settle employment discrimination allegations

The Department of Justice today announced a $700,000 settlement with Covenant Transportation Inc. The settlement resolves the department’s determination that the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision by routinely discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers when verifying their authorization to work in the United States.

“Employers cannot discriminate against non-U.S. citizens by requiring them to produce specific or unnecessary documents,” said Christine Clark, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring compliance with our federal civil rights laws, allowing non-US citizens with work authorization to contribute their talents to our workforce.

The department’s investigation found that from January 2020 to August 2022, Pledge and Transportation discriminated against other non-citizens by requiring lawful permanent residents to show their permanent resident cards (known as green cards). Show documents related to their immigration status.

Federal law allows all employees to choose which valid and legally acceptable document to show their identity and work authorization, regardless of citizenship status, immigration status, or naturalization. The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting specific or unnecessary documents based on an employee’s citizenship status, immigration status, or national identity. In fact, many non-US citizens, including legal permanent residents, are eligible for many of the same documents that prove their authorization to work as US citizens (eg, a state ID or driver’s license and an unlimited Social Security card). Employers must allow their employees to submit any acceptable documents they choose and cannot reasonably refuse to provide authentic and legitimate documents relevant to the employee.

Under the agreement, Covenant and Transport will pay US$700,000 in civil penalties, train their employees on INA anti-discrimination requirements, revise their employment policies and come under department supervision.

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Division (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision. The law prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national identity in hiring, firing or hiring or compensation; unfair documentary practices; and revenge and intimidation.

Find more information on how employers can avoid discrimination when verifying someone’s eligibility on the IER website. Learn more about IER’s work and how you can get help in this short video. Applicants or employees who believe they have been discriminated against in the hiring, firing, hiring, or employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin; Or he can file a lawsuit in retaliation. The public can call IER’s staff hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired). Call the IER Employer Hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); Email [email protected]; Register for a live webinar or watch an on-demand presentation or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Sign up for email updates.

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