Prospective employees in California and around the country who are considered lawful permanent residents of the United States are not required to show their green cards as part of the hiring process. The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices of the U.S. Department of Justice came to a settlement with a landscaping company that required its immigrant employees to provide their green cards as part of the process of employment verification.

The company will undergo monitoring and reporting and will be fined thousands of dollars. It will also be required to undergo anti-discrimination training.

Employers are not permitted to burden their workers with extra documentary requirements based on their citizenship status. Form I-9, which verifies eligibility for employment, lists a number of different documents that individuals can use to prove their eligibility, and lawful permanent residents can choose from other documents besides their green cards. Requiring an individual to produce a green card is discriminatory. Furthermore, an expired green card does not indicate that a permanent resident is no longer eligible for employment although it may not be usable as a form of identification.

People are protected against many types of discrimination in the workplace, and this includes treatment that is based upon national origin as well as discrimination due to an individual’s religion, gender or race. Discrimination may take many forms including a refusal to hire, a denial of a promotion or termination. People who feel they are facing discrimination should document the incidents if possible, and they then may find it advisable to discuss their situation with an employment law attorney.