The Department of Justice (DOJ) under Joe Biden’s administration imposed a $700,000 fine on Covenant Transport Inc., a Christian trucking company based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The fine, which also extends to the affiliated Transport Management Services LLC, is the result of a DOJ finding that the companies engaged in discriminatory practices against non-U.S. citizen workers.
According to the DOJ, from January 2020 to August 2022, Covenant Transport and its affiliate demanded specific immigration-related documents from lawful permanent residents and other non-U.S. citizens, in violation of the anti-discrimination clause of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This federal law prohibits employers from requesting particular or additional documents based on an employee’s citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.
BREAKING REPORT: Biden’s Department Of Justice just fined a Christian Tennessee trucking company $700,000 for asking workers to identify their legal status..— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) December 2, 2023
Covenant Transport Inc. and Transport Management Services LLC have agreed to a FINE of $700,000 in civil… pic.twitter.com/GytMR5egGd
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division emphasized that employers cannot discriminate against non-U.S. citizens by demanding specific or unnecessary documents from them to prove their permission to work. She stated that the Justice Department is committed to ensuring compliance with federal civil rights laws so that non-U.S. citizens with permission to work can contribute their talents to the workforce.
The investigation found that Covenant and Transport discriminated against non-U.S. citizens by requiring lawful permanent residents to show their Permanent Resident Cards (green cards) and other non-U.S. citizens to present documents related to their immigration status. Federal law allows all workers to choose which valid, legally acceptable documentation to present to demonstrate their identity and permission to work, regardless of citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin.
This is jaw dropping. Biden’s DOJ just fined a Christian Tennessee trucking company $700,000 for asking workers to prove that they’re legal by showing green cards. This is a shakedown for close to 3/4 of a million dollars because they tried to weed out illegal immigrants who… pic.twitter.com/Jvp5N0JbRU— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) December 2, 2023
Under the terms of the agreement, Covenant and Transport will pay $700,000 in civil penalties, train their employees on the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements, revise their employment policies, and be subject to monitoring by the department.
However, this decision has been met with criticism from various quarters. Critics argue that the DOJ’s action penalizes a company for attempting to ensure its workforce complies with legal standards, thus potentially overlooking the legitimate concerns and responsibilities of businesses in regulating their workforce. They view this fine as a punitive measure against a company striving to maintain legal integrity in its employment practices.
⚠️ All because they wanted to know if they were here legally.— Kendra Sexton (@kendradsexton) December 2, 2023
Attacks on Small Businesses.
Biden’s DOJ Fines Tennessee Christian Trucking Company $700,000 for Requiring Workers to Disclose Legal Status.
Story in link in comments: pic.twitter.com/j6ziyFGFrm
The case highlights the complex interplay between federal anti-discrimination laws and the responsibilities of employers in verifying the legal status of their employees. While the DOJ emphasizes the importance of non-discrimination, businesses are also under legal obligation to ensure that their employees are authorized to work in the U.S. This situation underscores the challenges faced by employers in navigating these legal requirements while avoiding discriminatory practices.
Is this a blatant attack on American small businesses?
What are your thoughts? Comment below…