10.6 Penalties for Unlawful Discrimination

If an investigation reveals that you engaged in unfair immigration-related employment practices under the INA, IER may file a lawsuit. The charging party may also file a lawsuit. Settlements or lawsuits may result in one or more corrective steps, including:

  • Hiring or reinstating, with or without back pay, an individual who was directly affected by the discrimination;
  • Removing a false performance review or false warning from an employee’s personnel file;
  • Posting notices to employees about their rights and about your obligations; and/or
  • Educating all personnel involved in the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes, about the proper procedures for verifying an individual’s employment eligibility and complying with anti-discrimination laws.

The court may award attorneys’ fees to prevailing parties other than the United States under certain circumstances.

If you violate the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, you may be ordered to pay a civil money penalty. For more information on civil penalties, contact IER.

If EEOC determines that you have committed national origin or other prohibited discrimination under Title VII or other federal law, you may be ordered to stop the prohibited practice and to take one or more corrective steps, including:

  • Hiring, reinstating, or promoting with back pay, benefits, and retroactive seniority;
  • Posting notices to employees about their rights and about your obligations; and/or
  • Removing incorrect information, such as a false warning, from an employee’s personnel file.

Under Title VII, compensatory damages may also be available when the EEOC determines there was intentional discrimination. Damages may compensate for actual monetary losses, for future monetary losses, and for mental anguish and inconvenience. Punitive damages may be available if you acted with malice or reckless indifference.

A court may also require you to pay attorneys’ fees, expert witness fees, and court costs.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/27/2020