Ascension Health Settles Immigration Nationality Act Violations with DOJ, Will Pay Fine

Ascension Health Alliance will pay a penalty and be required to retrain its staff following a Department of Justice investigation of its employment verification practices, which the agency claimed violate the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The company, according to a DOJ press release, ran afoul of the law through its customized software that it used to determine employment eligibility. Ascension’s system sent out e-mails requesting new employment verification documents from non-citizen employees when the documentation they had initially provided was set to expire, the release explained.

This conduct violated the INA’s anti-discrimination provisions, the DOJ said, which “prohibits employers from requesting more or different documents than necessary to prove work authorization based on employees’ citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.”

The investigation revealed that employees whose work authorization did not expire were still sent emails; meanwhile, U.S. citizens who worked at Ascension were never prompted to update their employment verification documents.

Ascension is set to pay $84,832 in civil penalties and will be required to retrain its employees to comply with these provisions of the INA. The company will also be monitored for three years.