Prosecutors: Houston Community College violated federal law

January 31, 2013 10:42:33 AM PST
Federal prosecutors say one of the largest community colleges in the country violated anti-discrimination laws.

The Justice Department says Houston Community College for two years had required job applicants who were not U.S. citizens to provide documents proving they were allowed to work. The same requirement was not made of citizens.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez said Thursday that employers cannot create higher hurdles for noncitizens during the hiring process.

The investigation began after a woman complained she was a target of discrimination when she applied for a job. Investigators say her claim was without merit, but her inquiry led them to discover the illegal hiring practice.

HCC will pay $83,600 in civil penalties and modify its hiring requirements.

It employs about 6,000 people on 20 campuses.

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