NYC Restaurant Comes Clean on Improper Demands of Workers Under Immigration Law

There’s a depressing familiarity to accusations that an employer violated the law regarding verification of eligibility to work in this country.

Usually the employer is alleged to have demanded that employees produce specific documents attesting to their right to work in this country or they require the individual to reestablish eligibility even though the law doesn’t require it.

Enter the Levy Premium Foodservice Limited Partnership, which operates the Levy Barclay’s Center Restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that its investigators found that Levy discriminated against two lawful permanent residents at the restaurant by improperly reverifying their employment eligibility because of their immigration status.  The department also determined that Levy improperly required them to present specific types of documents to re-establish their employment eligibility and suspended the charging party when he was unable to present such a document.

Those actions, according to the DOJ, violated the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibits employers from subjecting employees to unnecessary documentary demands based on the employee’s citizenship, immigration status or national origin.

But all is well again. The DOJ said that the restaurant “cooperated with the department throughout the investigation, quickly reinstated the charging party, and restored his lost wages and leave benefits.”

It will also pay a civil penalty and institute other steps to make sure these violations don’t occur again.

Read DOJ’s announcement of the settlement announced today here.


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