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Washington Potato Company fined $100,000 for employment status discrimination

Washington Potato Company (Courtesy: gateway global trading)

A potato processing company in Pasco, Washington has agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a Department of Justice investigation into whether it discriminated against immigrants when it ordered workers to verify their employment authorization in violation of federal law.

Washington Potato Co., which operates the Freeze Pack processing plant in Pasco, had been routinely making work-authorized non-U.S. citizens present documents to confirm their citizenship status, but did not subject U.S. citizens to the same requests, according to a news release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Under the settlement, Washington Potato agreed to pay $100,000 and post notices informing workers about their rights under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision. The same company resolved litigation in May concerning similar conduct at it's potato processing facility in Pasco.

John Gore, acting assistant U.S. Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division:

“Employers must ensure that they do not impose unnecessary and unlawful barriers to employment based on citizenship status.”
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