Department of Justice Reaches Settlement With New Jersey IT Recruiter Over Claims It Discriminated Against U.S. Workers

December 27, 2022

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has settled with a New Jersey-based IT recruiting and labor staffing provider. This settlement resolves allegations that the company had violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision. According to the DOJ, the company posted job advertisements that discriminated against U.S. citizens and those with specific immigration statutes.

This investigation began in early 2019 and continued for over a year. According to the DOJ, the employer posted a minimum of 12 facially discriminatory job advertisements. These advertisements indicated they sought only non-U.S. citizen applicants who needed sponsorship to work in the U.S. or already possessed certain employment-based temporary visas.

In doing this, the DOJ alleged that the company discouraged U.S. citizens from applying. In addition, these job advertisements discouraged other potential workers from applying, such as lawful permanent residents and asylees who do not require sponsorship to receive work authorization. In most cases, the INA bars employers from discriminating against individuals in hiring decisions based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.

According to the Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, “When employers invite applications only from candidates with specified immigration statuses, they deter individuals from applying and deny them a fair chance to be considered. The Civil Rights Division is committed to knocking down these unlawful discriminatory barriers.”

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the employer has agreed to pay $26,000 in civil penalties to the United States. The employer also agreed to provide the appropriate personnel with additional training on the anti-discrimination requirements of the INA. Furthermore, the employer will update its employment policies regarding recruitment, hiring, and employment eligibility verification (Form I-9) and re-verification within 60 days. The employer will also post an English and Spanish version of the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section’s “If You Have The Right to Work” poster. Finally, they agreed to departmental monitoring.

As settlements like these show, it is crucial to comply with federal law when advertising to hire many employees. Unfortunately, completing Form I-9 is among the most challenging requirements. With continuously shifting complex rules and regulations and the wide variety of documentation that employees can provide, it can prove difficult for employers to keep up.

The best way to help ensure compliance with federal requirements is to invest in an electronic I-9 management tool. This tool can guide employers through every step and provide secure and convenient storage of forms and documentation.

Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.