Tuscany to pay nearly $50,000 to settle worker-bias suit

The Tuscany hotel-casino in Las Vegas has agreed to pay a $49,000 fine to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Justice Department involving the employment eligibility verification and re-verification process for noncitizen employees and applicants.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers to treat all authorized workers equally during the hiring, firing and employment eligibility verification process, regardless of their national origin or citizenship status, the Justice Department says.

The Justice Department lawsuit, filed in May, charged the off-Strip property had discriminated against non-U.S. citizen job applicants and employees over a five-year period.

The Tuscany didn't respond to requests for comment on the suit, which was litigated in the Justice Department's Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer.

The complaint alleged:

• Tuscany treated noncitizens differently from U.S. citizens during the employment eligibility verification and re-verification process by requesting noncitizen employees provide more or different documents or information than was required.

• Tuscany subjected lawful permanent residents to unnecessary re-verification procedures based on their citizenship status. These are workers with Permanent Resident Cards (green cards).

In announcing settlement of the lawsuit Wednesday, the Justice Department said the Tuscany will pay $49,000 in civil penalties to the United States and full back pay to a victim of the alleged discrimination.

The government said that in addition to "corrective action already taken," the Tuscany will use new employment eligibility verification policies and procedures that treat employees equally regardless of citizenship status, train its human resources staff on their responsibilities to avoid discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process and be subject to reporting and monitoring requirements.

"I am pleased that Tuscany Hotel and Casino has worked cooperatively with the department to reach an amicable resolution, and encourage the casino industry to include the anti-discrimination provision of the INA as an integral part of part of their statutory and regulatory compliance program," Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.