Justice Department Settles Discrimination Claim Against Denver Sheriff’s Department

The Denver Sheriff's Department was found to have discriminated against immigrants in its hiring process. 

The Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., is shown on Nov. 3, 2016. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement Tuesday resolving a claim that the Denver Sheriff’s Department discriminated against immigrants in its hiring policies, a violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

An investigation by the Justice Department found that from approximately Jan. 1, 2015, until approximately March 23, 2016, the Denver Sheriff’s Department required applicants for deputy sheriff positions to be U.S. citizens and published job postings with U.S. citizenship requirements in violation of the INA. The INA anti-discrimination provision states that except where the employer is required to do so by law, regulation, executive order or government contract, employers may not limit jobs to U.S. citizens.

As part of the settlement agreement, the Denver Sheriff’s Department will pay $10,000 in civil penalties, identify applicants who may have been disqualified from deputy sheriff consideration because of the citizenship requirement and consider their qualifications without regard to their citizenship.

Additionally, the department will train its human resources staff on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and review and revise its policies and procedures so that they comply with the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.

“We commend the Denver Sheriff(‘s) 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(‘s) Department hires the best and most qualified individuals to protect and serve.  The entire community will benefit from these reforms.”

Read more at the Justice Department.

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