Monday, October 23 , 2017, 5:51 pm | Fair 94º


Local News

Select Staffing of Santa Barbara Settles with Department of Justice Over Hiring Practices

A Santa Barbara-based company accused of violating federal law in its employment verification process by the U.S. Department of Justice has settled with the agency and will be forced to pay more than $230,000 in fines.

The Justice Department reached an agreement with Real Time Staffing Services LLC, doing business as Select Staffing, which has its corporate office at 3820 State St. in Santa Barbara.

The settlement was reached last Friday and resolves the DOJ’s claims that Select Staffing discriminated against people who were authorized to work in the United States but were not U.S. citizens.

The DOJ argued that the company was in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The investigation was initiated by a referral from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and "concluded that members of the company’s staff required non-U.S. citizens, but not similarly situated U.S. citizens, to present specific documents during the employment eligibility verification process to establish their work authority," according to a statement. 

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, employers are prohibited from requiring work-authorized employees to present additional documents based on their citizenship status or national origin. 

As a result of the agreement, Select Staffing will pay $230,000 in civil penalties to the United States, create a $35,000 back pay fund to compensate individuals who may have lost wages due to the company’s practices, and undergo training on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  

Certain Select Staffing branches will be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements for a period of three years, the DOJ stated.

Lori Weathers at Select Staffing told Noozhawk on Thursday that the DOJ incident was isolated to two of the company's 400 nationwide branches.

"As part of the settlement, the company denied the allegation and any wrongdoing and felt it was in our best interest to resolve the matter rather than bear the expense and time associated with litigating it," she said. "The company remains dedicated to complying with all laws and regulations and have taken steps to further improve on our already-tight internal auditing procedures."

Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division said it is committed to protecting work authorized people from discrimination.

“We commend Select Staffing for working cooperatively with the division to resolve this matter," Moran said in a statement.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >