On Monday, October 31st, 2022, the Justice Department announced it has finalized a settlement deal with the Pennsylvania-based grocery store chain Giant Company LLC, doing business as Giant Food (Giant), which has stores across many states. The settlement addresses the department’s finding that Giant discriminated against non-citizen employees when determining whether they were authorized to work in the country, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The department’s inquiry got underway when a non-citizen reported that Giant wanted new paperwork from her instead of accepting the one that proved her right to work. According to the department’s review, Giant frequently requested particular documentation from recently employed non-U.S. nationals to demonstrate their right to work in the country. The agency discovered that Giant required lawful permanent residents to provide their permanent resident cards, sometimes referred to as “green cards,” to demonstrate that they were permitted to work even when they had other acceptable forms of documentation.
When determining an employee’s eligibility to work, employers are not allowed to treat them differently based on their citizenship, immigration status, or country of origin. In accordance with the settlement’s conditions, Giant will make a civil penalty payment to the United States, educate personnel about the INA’s anti-discrimination clause, examine and adjust its employment practices, and be under departmental oversight for three years. Giant paid the employee the compensation she was supposed to have received as a result of the alleged discrimination once the department’s inquiry got underway.