The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced four settlements it had made with four companies. These settlements resolve the claims about how the companies discriminated against non-U.S citizens via posted job opportunities on college recruiting platforms. Allegedly, these opportunities illegally included citizenship status restrictions. Unfortunately, the DOJ had to settle many similar claims, such as the settlements with 20 employers for $1.1 million in civil penalties.
The DOJ’s involvement with this case occurred when a college student filed a discrimination complaint. The student was a lawful permanent resident and filed with the Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. According to the complaint, a major bank listed an opportunity for a paid internship on a college job recruiting platform. However, the complaint specified how it cited availability for U.S. citizens only. During its investigations, the DOJ discovered numerous facially discriminatory advertisements from other employers on the job recruiting board. Through this investigation, the DOJ also discovered similar activity by multiple other college platforms across the United States.
In this case, the DOJ discovered that the involved companies posted a minimum of one job announcement that excluded non-U.S. citizens. These announcements appeared on an online job recruitment board operated by the college attended by the student who filed the complaint. Furthermore, three companies posted discriminatory ads on other college job recruitment platforms. The department determined that these advertisements discouraged qualified students from applying due to their citizenship status. Also, the citizenship restrictions frequently stopped students from applying for jobs or speaking with the company’s recruiters.
The settlements require the four companies to pay civil penalties totaling $331,520. The exact amounts depend on how many discriminatory advertisements the companies posted. Furthermore, the companies must also have their recruiting staff take part in training to learn the requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision. In addition, they cannot include any specific citizenship or immigration status designations in their job postings unless the law requires such restrictions. Finally, the companies must ensure that all their other recruiting policies and practices comply with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.
These settlements show how important it is to be familiar with the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision and ensure compliance with Form I-9 requirements. One of the best ways to maintain compliance is to invest in an electronic I-9 management system. These systems can guide employers through every step of the employment eligibility verification process and securely store forms and documentation for review at any time.
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