The U.S. Department of Justice has reached a settlement with Columbia-based Security Management of South Carolina LLC resolving claims that the private security company discriminated against a naturalized U.S. citizen and work-authorized non-U.S. citizens in its hiring practices.
An investigation began after a naturalized U.S. citizen filed a complaint against the company, which provides armed and unarmed security services throughout South Carolina and Georgia. The investigation found that after the worker successfully applied for a job in South Carolina, Security Management unlawfully withdrew the job offer because the applicant is a naturalized U.S. citizen instead of a native-born citizen, according to a news release from the Justice Department.
The department also concluded that from at least April 2018 through December 2019, Security Management posted job advertisements that restricted security officer positions in Georgia to U.S. citizens, thereby excluding work-authorized non-U.S. citizens including lawful permanent residents, asylees, and refugees.
“Companies cannot make hiring decisions based on how a worker became a U.S. citizen or post job advertisements with unlawful citizenship restrictions that deter qualified work-authorized applicants,” Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division said in the release. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to ensuring that work-authorized individuals protected under the Immigration and Nationality Act have an opportunity to apply and be considered for employment opportunities based on their merits.”
Under terms of the settlement, Security Management will pay a civil penalty of $60,000, establish a $75,000 back pay fund for affected workers, and pay the worker whose discrimination complaint prompted the investigation $7,907.81 in back pay. Security Management will also remove unlawful citizenship status restrictions from its job advertisements, revise its policies, train employees about the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s citizenship-status provision, and be subject to departmental monitoring for two years, according to the release.