The Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement agreement with Buddy’s Kitchen Inc., a Minnesota-based company that produces and distributes frozen foods. The settlement resolves claims that the company discriminated against non-U.S. citizens based on their citizenship status when checking their permission to work in the United States.

DOJ said its investigation revealed that the company routinely discriminated by asking non-U.S. citizens, primarily lawful permanent residents, to present specific Department of Homeland Security-issued documents to prove their authorization to work in the United States, while making no such request of U.S. citizens. Under the settlement, Buddy’s Kitchen will pay $40,000 in civil penalties, change its employment policies to comply with the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and train its employees who are responsible for verifying workers’ permission to work in the United States.

In a statement released on January 14, 2022, DOJ said, “All employees have the right to choose the valid documentation they wish to present when demonstrating that they have permission to work in the United States.”

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