The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently settled its claim against Bianchi Home Care Inc. (Bianchi), a home care provider based in Washington.
The settlement resolves the DOJ's claim that Bianchi violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it discriminated against non-U.S. citizens through its use of the federally-provided E-Verify tool.
Administered by the Department of Homeland Security, E-Verify is an electronic program that enables enrolled employers to confirm that their employees have permission to work in the United States. However, a DOJ representative reminded employers that they "cannot use E-Verify to discriminate against employees because of their citizenship or immigration status."
Based on the DOJ's investigation, Bianchi only used E-Verify to confirm the permission to work of its potential non-U.S. citizen employees and did not use the program for its potential U.S. citizen employees.
Although the E-Verify tool found that all of Bianchi's non-U.S. citizen employees had permission to work, by only subjecting non-U.S. citizens - but not also U.S. citizens - to E-Verify, Bianchi imposed an additional burden on a group of applicants in the hiring process because of their citizenship or immigration status. Under the INA and the E-Verify program rules, employers cannot discriminate in their use of E-Verify based on citizenship or immigration status.
The settlement prohibits Bianchi from selectively using E-Verify to discriminate against employees based on their citizenship or immigration status. Additionally, Bianchi must train its employees on the requirements of the INA's anti-discrimination provision, change its policies and procedures, and be subject to monitoring for three years. "Justice Department Settles E-Verify Discrimination Claims Against Washington State-Based Home Care Provider" www.justice.gov (Mar. 16, 2022).