United settles U.S. discrimination claims

Company required additional paperwork from permanent resident employees vs. those who were U.S. citizens, contrary to immigration law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc. has agreed to pay US$215,000 to resolve claims that Continental discriminated against its lawful permanent resident employees by demanding they fill out extra forms, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The company will also create a $55,000 fund to provide back pay to employees who may have lost wages because of the practice, the agency said in announcing the settlement.

U.S. immigration law forbids employers from asking for additional documents from work-authorized employees during the employment eligibility verification process based on their citizenship status.

The Justice Department said Continental did not require employees who were U.S. citizens to provide extra documents to show they were eligible to work.

United and Continental announced the completion of their merger in October 2010.

A United representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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