Biden's Justice Department has fined Covenant Transport Inc. $700,000. and affiliate Transport Management Services LLC, both stellar examples of Tennessee's robust transportation sector.
The Department of Justice's (DOJ) recent decision to impose a $700,000 fine on Covenant Transport Inc., a Christian trucking company based in Chattanooga, Tenn., raises significant concerns about federal overreach and disregard for the realities faced by companies. in the regulation of its staff.
The DOJ, under the Joe Biden regime, says this action is to resolve alleged violations of the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by Covenant and its affiliated entity, Transport Management Services LLC.
The department accuses Covenant of discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers by requiring specific documentation to confirm their legal status to work in the United States.
From the DOJ Press release:
The Department of Justice announced today that it has reached a $700,000 settlement with Covenant Transport Inc. (Covenant), as well as with affiliate Transport Management Services LLC (Transport), two long-haul trucking and transportation logistics companies based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The settlement resolves the department's determination that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by routinely discriminating against non-U.S. citizen workers when verifying their permission to work in the United States .
“Employers cannot discriminate against non-U.S. citizens by requiring them to provide specific or unnecessary documents to prove their permission to work,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring compliance with our federal civil rights laws so that non-U.S. citizens with permission to work can contribute their talents to our workforce.”
The department's investigation found that from January 2020 through at least August 2022, Covenant and Transport routinely discriminated against non-U.S. citizens by requiring lawful permanent residents to show their permanent resident cards (known as green cards) and requiring other non-US citizens to do so. show documents related to their immigration status.
Federal law allows all workers to choose which valid and legally acceptable documentation to present to prove their identity and permission to work, regardless of their citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin. The anti-discrimination provision of the INA prohibits employers from requiring specific or unnecessary documents because of a worker's citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin. In fact, many non-U.S. citizens, including lawful permanent residents, are eligible for several of the same types of documents to demonstrate their permission to work as U.S. citizens (for example, a state ID or driving and an unrestricted Social Security card). . Employers must allow workers to present any acceptable documentation that workers choose and may not reject valid documentation that reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the worker.
Under the terms of the settlement, Covenant and Transport will pay $700,000 in US civil penalties, train its employees on the INA's anti-discrimination requirements, revise its employment policies and be subject to department scrutiny.
However, this overlooks the legitimate concerns and responsibilities of businesses to ensure that their employees are legally permitted to work.
Illegal immigrants are generally not eligible for work permits. However, there may be exceptions for certain groups, such as 'refugees' or those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
“Asylum seekers” may be eligible for a work permit after submitting their application and receiving an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
In accordance with Gittes Law Group“Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), it is illegal for employers to knowingly hire undocumented workers. When workers are hired, their employer must request documents. The documents must show your identity and authorization to work in the U.S. These documents must “appear reasonably authentic.”
“Employers must fire or refuse to hire an undocumented worker if they find the worker is not authorized to work. But, the employer cannot use immigration status as an excuse to fire undocumented workers who file discrimination complaints Undocumented workers are covered by federal discrimination laws The law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who assert their legal rights If an employer retaliates against an employee for exercising their right to file a discrimination complaint, the employer is breaking the law.”
According to the legal group:
In the United States, an undocumented immigrant or worker is a foreign-born person who is not a permanent resident and is not a US citizen. “Undocumented immigrant” can refer to a person whose immigration status is unresolved. Because of unresolved status, the worker is not authorized to work in the United States.
These two terms are sometimes used to mean the same thing. An illegal immigrant/alien is a foreign-born person who has entered the US illegally and is subject to deportation. It can also refer to a person who entered the US legally but has lost their legal status and may be deported. An undocumented immigrant is a foreign-born person who does not have a valid visa or other immigration documentation, because he entered the United States without inspection, overstayed his temporary visa or otherwise breached the terms on which they were admitted.
“Immigrant/illegal alien” is an offensive term to some people because it implies that the person is somehow “illegal”. While the person may be in the US illegally, they are not “illegal”, only their status is. “Undocumented” best describes the situation of an immigrant who does not currently have valid legal status in the US
Our justice system is a joke!
The DOJ's action against the Christian trucking company is to sanction them for conducting due diligence to ensure their workforce complies with legal standards. This fine seems more like a punitive measure against a company that strives to maintain legal integrity in its labor practices.