The Justice Department announced January 30, 2014, that it has reached an agreement with the city of Waterloo, Iowa, resolving allegations that the city violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). The department initiated its investigation after a charge was filed by a work-authorized, lawful permanent resident alleging that the city refused to consider him for a fire fighter position because he was not a U.S. citizen. The department’s investigation confirmed that the city of Waterloo improperly restricted fire fighter positions to U.S. citizens despite the fact that no law, regulation, executive order, or government contract authorized the city to legally restrict employment in such a manner under the INA. The investigation further revealed that the city of Waterloo had refused to consider the charging party’s application on the basis of his citizenship status. Under the settlement agreement, the city of Waterloo must provide the charging party with another opportunity to apply for the position and must hire or otherwise compensate the charging party if the charging party’s performance on the city’s hiring tests confirm that he or she would have been hired in the absence of discrimination. In addition, the city of Waterloo will pay $13,000 in civil penalties to the United States and has agreed to make changes to its policies and practices to ensure unlawful citizenship requirements are not imposed, to provide training to city officials, and to be subject to monitoring by the department for one year. (Read Full Story)If you are worried that your business’ policies may unlawfully discriminate against non-citizens, call Johnstone Adams to discuss at (251) 432-7682 or toll-free at (866) 732-3267, or visit our Website.

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