The Justice Department announced Monday that they had reached a settlement resolving claims that the Denver Sheriff Department discriminated against work-authorized immigrants, violating federal laws.
From Jan. 1, 2015 to March 2016, the Sheriff’s Department required deputy positions to be U.S. citizens and published job posts, which is illegal, officials said.
The Denver Sheriff Department is the largest sheriff department in the state of Colorado.
The Denver Sheriff Department said in a post on Twitter, “While we didn’t commit this violation intentionally, we accept responsibility.”
The Justice Department’s investigation found that the Denver Sheriff Department discriminated based on citizenship status by requiring applicants for deputy sheriff positions to be U.S. citizens and publishing job postings with U.S. citizenship requirements.
A federal anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from limiting jobs to U.S. citizens except where the employer is required to do so by law, regulation, executive order or government contract.
The Denver Sheriff Department was not subject to one of the federal law exceptions, according to officials.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the Denver Sheriff Department will pay $10,000 in civil penalties; identify applicants who may have been disqualified from consideration for deputy sheriff positions due to the citizenship requirement and consider these applicants’ qualifications without regards to their citizenship; train its human resources staff on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA and review and revise its policies and procedures to comply with the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.
“We commend the Denver Sheriff Department for its cooperation and commitment to removing unnecessary and unlawful employment barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Eliminating this unlawful citizenship requirement will help ensure that the Denver Sheriff Department hires the best and most qualified individuals to protect and serve. The entire community will benefit from these reforms.”
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