Navajo Express has agreed to settle a charge that the Colorado-based trucking company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers when completing Form I-9. The U.S. Justice Department Civil Rights Division had received a complaint from a job applicant that Navajo Express had refused to accept valid identification documents for Form I-9; instead, the company required the candidate, a lawful permanent resident, to present his permanent resident card (aka “green card”).
Under the agreement, Navajo Express will pay a $40,000 civil penalty; train staff on the anti-immigration law and the correct completion of Form I-9; and review and revise their employment policies. The company will also be “on probation;” subject to monitoring by the Justice Department for two years.
All workers must be allowed to present valid identification documents when completing Form I-9, regardless of their citizenship status. Employers may not require employees to present a specific document (ie., a lawful permanent resident cannot be required to present a permanent resident card). Employers are also prohibited from reverifying permanent residents when the card expires.
This type of violation of Form I-9 rules and federal law is more common than you might think. If it is currently your practice to require specific documents or reverify permanent residents, you may also be violating other provisions of the INA as well. We encourage our clients to schedule a call to discuss hiring and onboarding policies to ensure that they comply with federal law.