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Border & Immigration

Feds Sue UC San Diego For Employment Discrimination

UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.
Photo courtesy UC San Diego Health System.
UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.
Feds Sue UCSD
Feds Sue UCSD

The Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the UC San Diego Health System for discriminating against non-U.S. citizens seeking employment.

The lawsuit accuses the health system of requiring newly hired non-U.S. citizens to present a Green Card to prove they were eligible to work. Federal law allows new hires to provide a range of other documents proving eligibility, such as a social security card and a driver license.

The suit, filed Dec. 6, alleges the health system allowed U.S. citizens to present such documents, but not non-U.S. citizens.

Debra Kain, director of media relations for UC San Diego Health System, said the government contacted them in January with concerns about the Green Card requirement.

“We took immediate steps when they told us we couldn’t do that to ensure that we did not require anyone to provide those,” Kain said.

She added that an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent had since instructed human resources personnel on how to properly verify the employment eligibility of new hires.

In the lawsuit, the Department of Justice seeks a penalty against the health system and compensation to any non-U.S. citizens who were authorized to work and who may have lost wages or been fired because of the policy.