Major Worksite Anti-Discrimination Settlement from I-9 Audit
On August 22, 2011, the Department of Justice announced a record anti-discrimination settlement agreement with Farmland Foods, Inc. to resolve allegations that the company engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination during the I-9 process.
According to the DOJ’s press release (see link below), Farmland, a major producer of pork products in the United States, had a practice of requiring all newly hired non-U.S. citizens and some foreign-born U.S. citizens at its Monmouth, Illinois plant to present specific and, in many cases, extra work-authorization documents beyond those required by law. Under the terms of the settlement, Farmland has agreed to pay $290,400, the highest civil penalty paid through a settlement since the INA’s anti-discrimination provision went into effect in 1986.
Farmland has also agreed to train its human resources personnel about proper I-9 procedure, and provide periodic reports to the DOJ for monitoring purposes.