The PJ Tatler

DOJ Goes After SF Restaurant for Questioning Work Documents of Non-U.S. Citizens

The Justice Department went after a San Francisco restaurant for discrimination after what appears to be a case of an employer trying to be extra careful about not hiring illegal immigrants.

An immigrant authorized to work in the U.S. complained to the DOJ “that Kim Hoang Coffee and Fast Food improperly rejected valid work-authorization documents when re-verifying her authorization for employment, which caused the immigrant to believe she had been terminated.”

The DOJ opened an investigation that “revealed that the employer believed she could ask non-U.S. citizens to produce specific documents to establish work authorization upon initial hire, but did not need to make similar demands of U.S. citizens,” according to the department.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating against non-U.S. citizens in the employment eligibility verification process by demanding different documentation than U.S. citizens are required to present,” continued the DOJ.

Faced with DOJ charges, the restaurant in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District offered to rehire the employee and pay back wages of $700. “Kim Hoang Coffee and Fast Food must pay $485 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of three years,” the DOJ said.

“Imposing different documentary requirements on individuals based on their citizenship status during the employment eligibility verification process is discrimination prohibited by the INA,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels.  “The Department of Justice is committed to protecting U.S. citizens and all work-authorized immigrants from document abuse.”