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Staffing firm, Justice Department settle immigration probe

September 30 2013

An Illinois-based staffing firm settled a U.S. Department of Justice investigation alleging the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act by requesting more or different documents during the employment eligibility verification processes based on the individuals’ citizenship status. 

The department’s investigation concluded that Paramount Staffing’s Hanover Park, Ill., branch required specific, Department of Homeland Security-issued documentation from lawful permanent residents for Form I-9 and E-Verify processes but did not make similar demands of U.S. citizens, according to the Department of Justice. The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits employers from using discriminatory documentary policies, procedures or requirements based on citizenship status or national origin when initially determining or subsequently re-verifying an employee’s authorization for employment.

Paramount Staffing cooperated with the department’s investigation and agreed to pay $21,100 in civil penalties to the United States, undergo Justice Department training on the anti-discrimination provision of the act, and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of 18 months.

Settling with the Department was in the best financial interest of the company, according to Matt Schubert, president and owner of Paramount Staffing.

“We believe this is a very isolated incident and we cooperated with the Department of Justice throughout the entire process,” Schubert said.

The Department of Justice settled a similar investigation with Infinity Group and its related entities last week. And earlier this month, Kelly Services Inc. (NASD: KELYA) settled a U.S. Department of Justice investigation over immigration paperwork for approximately $3,000. Kelly Services does not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, and maintains the facts of the case remain in dispute.


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