Ascension settles federal discrimination claims

Ascension entered into a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department that resolves claims that the St. Louis-based health system violated the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

The settlement, announced Aug. 25, came after the Justice Department determined that Ascension automatically requested that its non-U.S. citizen employees present new documents to prove their continued work authorization even in situations where it wasn't required. The Justice Department said its investigation found that the health system improperly programmed software to send automated emails requesting proof of continued work authorization to all non-U.S. citizen employees. Ascension didn't program software to send emails to employees who were U.S. citizens, the Justice Department said. 

Ascension agreed to pay the federal government a civil penalty of $84,832 as part of the settlement. The health system also agreed to train employees on the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provision and be subject to monitoring for three years. 

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