CHW to Pay $275K to Settle Hiring Discrimination Charges

John Commins, October 21, 2010

Catholic Healthcare West will pay the federal government $275,000 to resolve allegations that the three-state, San Francisco-based health system created unnecessary and discriminatory hurdles against work-authorized, legal immigrant job seekers, the Department of Justice said this week.

CHW required non-US citizen and naturalized US citizen new employees to present more work authorization documents than required by federal law, but permitted native born US citizens to provide documents of their own choosing, DOJ said. The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits employers from imposing different or greater employment-eligibility verification (I-9) standards on the basis of a worker’s citizenship status.

In addition to the $275,000 payment –the largest civil penalties ever paid to resolve such allegations---CHW will pay $1,000 in back salary to the employee who brought the complaint.

CHW, the eighth-largest health system in the nation, has agreed to review its past I-9 practices at all of its 41 facilities in California, Arizona, and Nevada, to identify and compensate other victims of over-documentation. The health system must also devise policies for ensuring best practices in hiring and employment eligibility verification, train its human resources staff about anti-discrimination laws, and provide periodic status reports to DOJ for three years.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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