The Department of Justice has announced it reached a settlement with DC Precision Machining Inc., which manufactures parts for medical devices and is based in Morgan Hill, Calif.

The settlement resolves claims the company discriminated against workers by requiring them to present specific work authorization documents depending on each worker’s citizenship status. The settlement also resolves a claim the company rescinded a worker’s job offer when she refused to provide an additional document to prove she could work in the United States, even though she had already provided sufficient documentation. 

The department’s investigation began when a U.S. citizen filed a discrimination charge with the Civil Rights Division against DC Precision Machining. Based on its investigation, the department determined the company rejected the worker’s unrestricted Social Security card to prove her work authorization, required her to provide an additional unnecessary document before she could start work, and then withdrew her job offer when she was unwilling to comply with the company’s demand.

The department’s investigation also found the company routinely requested unnecessary and specific work authorization documents from all new employees—limiting each new hire’s choice of documents based on the worker’s citizenship status. In particular, U.S. citizens were required to show a U.S. passport or birth certificate, while non-U.S. citizens were required to present an immigration document to prove their work authorization—even when the new hire had already given DC Precision Machining another acceptable document that showed they were authorized to work.

“Employers must give workers the opportunity to present any acceptable document when verifying that they are authorized to work in the United States,” says Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division. “An employer that requires new employees to present particular documents based on their citizenship or immigration status has committed unlawful discrimination. The Justice Department looks forward to working with DC Precision Machining to ensure it meets its obligations to avoid employment discrimination in the future.”

Federal law allows all work-authorized individuals, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, to choose which valid, legally acceptable documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and authorization to work in the U.S. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)’s anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary or limiting employees’ choice of documents to prove work authorization based on the employees’ citizenship, immigration status or national origin.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, DC Precision Machining will pay a civil penalty of $13,400  to the United States and $21,360.55 to the affected worker. Additionally, DC Precision Machining will train its employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, including an IER-provided training and be subject to monitoring for a two-year period to ensure the company is complying with the agreement.