The Justice Department has ruled against a Georgia poultry company in a 7-year-long discrimination case.
U.S. attorneys say Mar-Jac Poultry, north of Atlanta, broke federal law when it demanded noncitizens produce Department of Homeland Security documents proving their right to work. The company did not make similar demands to U.S. citizens.
U.S. federal law gives all people with work permits, citizens or not, the right to choose which documents they would like to show.
It is also illegal for companies to subject employees to what the Justice Department calls "unnecessary documentary demands" solely based on a worker's country of origin.
"This case demonstrates the department's commitment to ensuring that all employers implement the employment eligibility verification process in a nondiscriminatory manner," acting assistant attorney general John Gore said.
The Justice Department's case against Mar-Jac dates back to 2011.
The company must pay $190,000 in civil fines, $1,020 to a refugee it fired for failing to show a work permit, and $24,000 in compensation to other affected employees.