Watch which documents you request from new workers


By now, most savvy companies know they must treat everyone equally during the hiring process and work-authorization process.


But that hasn’t stopped this disturbing trend: The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has been slapping employers with hefty penalties for not treating U.S. citizens and non-citizens the same when requesting work authorization documents from them.


Example: Washington Potato Company of Pasco, WA, has been hit with a civil penalty of $225,750.


The DOJ said the fruit and vegetable processing company violated the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality ACT (INA) by requesting that lawful, permanent residents who were hired provide a specific document – a Permanent Resident Card – to prove their work authorization. Meanwhile, U.S. citizens weren’t required to produce the same document.


INA antidiscrimination violation


The DOJ issue new regulations in December to remind employers it’s discriminatory to treat workers differently when requesting verification documents during the form I-9 or E-Verify process – regardless of whether the employer’s intent is to harm or help an individual.


The regs say employers should: “… provide all workers with the Lists of Acceptable Documents and explain to them that they may present one List A document or one List B document and one List C document.”