A Somerset County IT staffing agency agreed to pay a fine to the government and back pay to a worker to settle claims that it discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens, federal authorities said Wednesday.
Recruiters at Collabera, Inc., of Basking Ridge deliberately “refused to pass on to clients non-U.S. citizens who held permanent work authorization unless they could provide an unexpired immigration document,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release.
“On at least 39 occasions, Collabera required non-U.S. citizens to present specific documentation to prove their work authorization because of their citizenship,” it added.
In doing so, the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status or national origin, federal authorities said.
All work-authorized applicants -- regardless of citizenship status – can choose which valid, legally acceptable documents to present to demonstrate their ability to work in the United States, under the law.
Under the terms of an agreement settling federal claims against it, Collabera will pay a $53,000 civil penalty to the government and $35,475.92 in back pay to an affected worker, the Justice Department said.
“Additionally, Collabera will train its employees on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, including an IER-provided training,” the release said.
“IT staffing companies and their end clients must not impose unlawful barriers to employment on non-U.S. citizens who have legal authorization to work in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John B. Daukas of the Civil Rights Division. “We look forward to working with Collabera to ensure compliance with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
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