Diversified Maintenance Systems, LLC (DMS), a Tampa janitorial company, has agreed to pay $8,800 to settle charges that it refused to reinstate a worker whose employment eligibility was incorrectly denied by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) E-Verify program.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a DMS supervisor informed the employee that her employment eligibility was initially denied by E-Verify. The employee claimed that she immediately visited the Social Security Administration (SSA), but her supervisor did not give her the paperwork required by the SSA to resolve the problem. As a result, the E-Verify program issued a final determination that the worker was not eligible to work in the United States, and she was terminated.
The employee called the E-Verify hotline. After reviewing her case, an E-Verify agent notified the DMS that she was authorized to work. The DMS refused to reinstate her, however, because she contacted E-Verify and asserted her right to work under the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the DOJ alleged.
To resolve the charges, the DMS agreed to pay $6,800 in back wages plus a $2,000 civil penalty. The company has also agreed to conduct training on INA compliance and E-Verify procedures.
“The Civil Rights Division has a critical partnership with USCIS … to ensure that work authorized individuals are not denied the opportunity to work based on misuse, abuse, or discriminatory use of E-Verify,” said Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for DOJ’s Civil Rights Division. “Retaliation against employees for asserting their right to call the government for help when they think their rights have been violated will not be tolerated.”