DOJ Settles I-9 Violation Claims With Tennessee Trucking Companies

DOJ Settles I-9 Violation Claims With Tennessee Trucking Companies
December 07, 2023

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement agreement with two Tennessee-based logistics and long-haul service providers. This settlement resolves the DOJ’s claims that the organizations discriminated against non-U.S. citizen workers. According to the case, the organizations discriminated against these workers during the employment eligibility verification (Form I-9).

The settlement occurred after the DOJ’s Immigration and Employee Rights Section concluded its investigation. During this investigation, it found reasonable cause to believe the discrimination claims. The two logistics and long-haul service providers regularly demanded lawful permanent residents to supply Permanent Resident Cards (green cards) during the I-9 process. 

They also requested other documents associated with their immigration status. According to the Immigration and Employee Rights Section, they similarly discriminated against other eligible non-citizens. Requiring these documents violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

According to the Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, “Employers cannot discriminate against non-U.S. citizens by demanding specific or unnecessary documents from them to prove their permission to work. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring compliance with our federal civil rights laws so that non-U.S. citizens with permission to work can contribute their talents to our workforce.” In the settlement, the two companies disputed the DOJ’s allegations and denied discriminating against anyone.

The DOJ stated that the law permits workers to select whatever legal documents they want to prove their identity. This permission also applied to their employment eligibility, making their immigration or citizenship status irrelevant. The Department also reminded the two companies about the INA’s anti-discrimination provisions. These provisions prohibit employers from demanding certain or unnecessary documents because of a worker’s immigration or citizenship status.

From January 2020 through approximately August 2022, the two Tennessee-based logistics and long-haul service providers “routinely discriminated against non-U.S. citizens by requiring lawful permanent residents to show their green cards and by requiring other non-U.S. citizens to show documents related to their immigration status.”

The settlement will require the companies to pay $700,000 in civil penalties, revise employment policies, and train employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements. The companies will also be subject to monitoring by the DOJ. This case shows the importance of complying with federal employment laws to avoid costly fines and penalties. 

The best way to comply with federal, state, and local employment laws is to utilize an I-9 management system with E-Verify integration options. This system streamlines the I-9 process, reducing chances of violating related laws. It provides step-by-step guidance, secure digital storage, and can notify companies when to take action.

Streamline your hiring process with an automated employment eligibility verification and ensure compliance today with I-9Compliance.