Rush Limbaugh today condemned an anti-discrimination lawsuit brought by the Justice Department against a major egg producer, alleging that in trying to protect the farm's noncitizen workers, "the regime ... is governing against the will of the people." While railing against the suit, Limbaugh also claimed that the workers were "illegals."
LIMBAUGH: The Justice Department is suing a southern Indiana-based egg producer to stop alleged discrimination against non-U.S. citizens in the hiring process. Now, stop and think of that. It's illegal to hire illegals. It's illegal to hire -- they can shut you down for doing it, which Obama would do. He loves shutting down capitalism more than he likes illegals.
In fact, according to DOJ's lawsuit, the workers are not undocumented; they are work-authorized, meaning that they are already legally authorized to work in the United States and are therefore entitled to the full range of workplace protections under the law.
DOJ's complaint against Rose Acre Farms lays this out clearly:
The Justice Department announced today the filing of a lawsuit against Rose Acre Farms Inc., a major U.S. egg producer based in Seymour, Ind., alleging that Rose Acre engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against work-authorized noncitizens in the employment eligibility verification process.
The complaint further states that the farm placed additional burdens on these workers to prove they were able to work in the United States, even though their legal status attested to their eligibility, a burden prohibited under the Immigration and Nationality Act:
The complaint alleges that Rose Acre had a standard practice of subjecting newly hired non-U.S. citizens to unauthorized demands for more, different or specific documents issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in order to verify their employment eligibility, while U.S. citizens were permitted to present their choice of documentation. The Immigration and Nationality Act's (INA) anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on work-authorized employees during the hiring and employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status or national origin.
DOJ settled a similar case in May 2011 with the Maricopa County Community College, which "had a policy of requiring newly hired workers who are not U.S. citizens but are authorized to work to present specific documentation that is not required by federal law":
The Justice Department today reached a settlement agreement with the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona, resolving allegations that the district engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against non-citizens in the hiring and employment-eligibility verification process. The district, which consists of 10 community colleges and two skill centers, has agreed to pay $45,760 in civil penalties and $22,123 in back pay to settle a lawsuit filed by the Justice Department on Aug. 30, 2010.
As DOJ explained in the document outlining the settlement, the Immigration and Nationality Act protects work-authorized noncitizens from workplace discrimination and requires employers to "treat all work-authorized individuals the same regardless of citizenship status or national origin":
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) includes a provision designed to protect lawful workers who may look or sound foreign by prohibiting employers from treating non-citizens differently than U.S. citizens in the I-9 process. When Congress enacted this provision as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, it sought to strike a balance between immigration worksite enforcement and the civil rights of workers. While employers are banned from hiring unauthorized workers, they must also treat all work-authorized individuals the same regardless of citizenship status or national origin.
The Civil Rights Division's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, which protects work authorized individuals against discrimination in hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee on the basis of citizenship status and national origin. The INA also protects all work-authorized individuals from discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process and from retaliation.