UCSD settles federal discrimination claim

SAN DIEGO — A settlement agreement announced Thursday resolves the Justice Department’s investigation into whether the University of California San Diego discriminated against workers when verifying their continued authorization to work.

The investigation concluded that the university’s Resource Management and Planning Vice Chancellor Area unnecessarily required certain work-authorized immigrants to re-establish their work authorization when their documents expired, based on the citizenship status of those individuals when they were hired.

The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits such requests for documents when based on an employee’s status or national origin.

Under the settlement, UCSD will pay a penalty to the U.S. government, train the university’s human resources personnel on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and will be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements.

“Employers must comply with anti-discrimination laws, not only when employees are first hired, but throughout their employment,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “We will work with the university to ensure that its employment eligibility re- verification procedures avoid unnecessary burdens on permanently work- authorized immigrants based on citizenship status.”

The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among other things, citizenship, immigration status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices, retaliation and intimidation.