Justice Dept files lawsuit, employment discrimination in N.GA - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Justice Dept files lawsuit, employment discrimination in N.GA

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DALTON, WHITFIELD COUNTY (WRCB) - In the hiring process at Garland, a U.S. citizen says he was asked to produce a green card, and when he didn't he says Garland withdrew his offer of employment. He then filed a complaint, and the lawsuit quickly followed.

"If you are a natural born citizen, you don't need a green card," it's simple says Edgar Rincon, the owner of Servicios Latinos in Dalton.

And that's one reason the Department of Justice is suing a local company.

[Read the lawsuit]

The law says companies have to use the same verification standards for everyone. Garland hired an individual who spoke little English. And asked for his green card before he could start work.

But since he was a U.S. citizen, he didn't have one. Without a green card, the company pulled their offer.

Rincon, who helps Dalton's Hispanic community with problems like this says he can see why the company would want to protect themselves. But "On the other hand, if I say I'm a U.S. citizen that should be, and is how my social and ID that should be enough," says Rincon.

We had a questions for Garland, who told Channel 3 in a statement they have complied fully with the law and added "Garland sales does not engage in any practice or pattern of discrimination."

Edgar says, the lack of English causes a communication break down all too often. "When I don't speak the English language fluently, I find myself having problems when I go ask for a job, and that's the case with this company."

After the disgruntled individual filed a complaint, the Department of Justice launched an investigation on Garland. The end result was a lawsuit. Garland has 30 days to respond after they are served.

Garland has been in business for more than 25 years, and in its statement they said this is its first being accused of any type of discrimination.

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