Immigration-related Unfair Employment Practices resolved - Justice Department settles out with Georgia Company

The Justice Department announced on March 25, 2013, that it reached an agreement with Poulan Pecan, resolving allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Poulan Pecan is a supplier of pecans located in Poulan, Ga.

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division initiated its investigation of Poulan Pecan in 2012, based on a claim by an individual who called a department hotline and complained that the pecan-producing company requested specific documentation from her to establish her work authorization. The department’s investigation concluded that Poulan Pecan discriminated against work-authorized non-U.S. citizens by requiring specific and more documents than necessary from them when completing the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, while not imposing similar requirements of U.S. citizens.

Under the terms of the agreement, Poulan Pecan will pay $500 in civil penalties and be subject to monitoring of its employment eligibility verification practices for a period of one y ear. Designated Poulan Pecan officials have already completed training by the Justice Department on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The case settled prior to the Justice Department filing a complaint in this matter.

“Individuals should be treated equally during the employment eligibility verification process,” said Gregory Friel, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “This means not placing additional requirements, documentary or otherwise, on individuals based on their citizenship status.”

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call the OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2525, TDD for hearing impaired), call the OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-362-2735, TDD for hearing impaired), sign up for a no-cost webinar at , email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website at


Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is an immigration law firm in Houston, Texas. For over 15 years, our firm has successfully represented corporate clients across the United States in their efforts to bring foreign workers and business professionals to the United States. Reddy & Neumann, P.C. is dedicated in its advocacy and community involvement efforts towards achieving effective comprehensive immigration policy reform. From filing, through approval, and on to appeal, we do everything possible to ensure that your company can bring the best and brightest in the world to the United States.