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Las Vegas cab firms settle case over hiring bias against noncitizens


Three Las Vegas taxi companies that operate collectively have agreed to pay $445,000 to settle a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit in which they were charged with discriminating against immigrants by demanding additional documentation from them.

The company said in a statement the problem was unintentionally caused by clerical errors in document processing by “low-level” employees.

The department said Tuesday that Nevada Yellow Cab Corp., Nevada Checker Cab Corp. and Nevada Star Cab Corp., which collectively operate as Yellow Checker Star Transportation Co., violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision by requiring non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly situated U.S. citizens, to present “additional and unnecessary” documentation to prove their employment eligibility.

Under terms of the agreement, in addition to paying the $445,000, Yellow Checker Star will undergo three years of monitoring and train its employees in the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provisions, among other terms.

“Employers are not permitted to impede the employment opportunities of work-authorized immigrants by imposing additional and unnecessary documentary requirements upon them,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a statement

The company said in its statement: “The errors cited by the government were the result of complex regulations regarding verification of work authorization, and not an intent to discriminate against applicants for employment at the company. There was no finding by the government that anyone affected by the clerical errors during this process was denied employment.

“The Yellow Checker Star management team did not authorize or condone these errors, and immediately corrected them when discovered. Despite the errors, Yellow Checker Star did not preclude any prospective employee from obtaining employment for discriminatory reasons,” said the statement.

The company also said in its statement that more than 30% of its 2,000 employees are noncitizens, and that it had accepted the settlement, without admitting liability, to avoid costly litigation.

In 2013, the DOJ reached a settlement agreement with IBM on allegations the Armonk, New York-based company had illegally stated a preference for foreign-born workers in online job postings, while in a separate case a staffing agency agreed to settle a DOJ allegation it had discriminated against immigrants.

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