Department Has Secured Over $1.6 Million in Total Civil Penalties in the Last Year
The Justice Department announced today that it has secured another 10 settlements with companies that used a college recruiting platform to post job advertisements that unlawfully excluded non-U.S. citizens. These agreements add to the department's recent settlements with 20 other companies resolving similar claims – 16 in June 2022 and another four in September 2022 – and bring the total civil penalty amount for all 30 employers to over $1.6 million.
“The Justice Department has now held 30 companies accountable for using a college recruitment platform to post discriminatory job advertisements that locked non-U.S. citizen students out of job opportunities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. “These settlements should make clear our commitment to enforcing federal civil rights laws to ensure that all applicants have a fair and equal chance to compete for jobs.”
The department's involvement in these matters began after a Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) student, who was a lawful permanent resident at the time, filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division. The student alleged that a bank's advertisement on a Georgia Tech job recruitment platform restricted the posted internship opportunity to U.S. citizens only. On investigation, the department discovered many other discriminatory advertisements on Georgia Tech's job recruiting platform, as well as platforms operated by other colleges across the United States.
The department found that each of the ten employers with which it is now settling posted on an online job recruitment platform operated by Georgia Tech at least one job announcement excluding non-U.S. citizens. The department determined that the advertisements deterred qualified students from applying for jobs because of their citizenship status, and in many cases the citizenship status restrictions also blocked students from applying or even meeting with company recruiters.
The new settlements, like the 20 before them, require each company to pay a civil penalty. The amount of each employer's penalty is based on the number of discriminatory advertisements it posted:
Black & Veatch Corporation
Freese & Nichols Inc.
Grey Orange Inc.
Honeywell International Inc.
Procter & Gamble
Georgia Tech Research Institute
Stryker Employment Company LLC
In addition to paying civil penalties, the employers' recruiting staff must undergo training on the Immigration and Nationality Act's (INA) anti-discrimination provision and refrain from including specific citizenship or immigration status designations in their campus job postings unless the restrictions are required by law.
The INA generally prohibits employers and recruiters from limiting jobs based on citizenship or immigration status unless required by a law, regulation, executive order or government contract. The INA protects asylees, refugees, recent lawful permanent residents, U.S. citizens, and U.S. nationals from citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee.
The Civil Rights Division's Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about IER's work and how to get assistance through this brief video. IER's website has more information on how employers can avoid discriminating based on citizenship status when hiring and recruiting. Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, may file a charge. The public can also call IER's worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call IER's employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email [email protected]; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER's English and Spanish
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