The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that it reached a settlement agreement with a New York-based ticket services company. This agreement settles allegations that the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by limiting job openings to applicants based on citizenship status. In addition, this agreement will require the company to submit to federal monitoring.
According to an investigation by the DOJ’s Immigrant and Employment Rights Section, the department began investigating the employer in July 2022. The investigation occurred after learning that the company may have restricted its position to only U.S. citizens. The DOJ determined it had reasonable cause to believe that the company advertised a job for only U.S. citizen applicants on at least one occasion from April to August 2022. Under the INA, employers cannot discriminate in hiring individuals based on citizenship or immigration status, with few exceptions.
According to Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ, “Job advertisements that unlawfully limit jobs to U.S. citizens create barriers for non-U.S. citizens who have permission to work in the United States. The Justice Department will continue to ensure that all workers have a fair shot at job opportunities and will hold employers accountable for discriminating against workers because of citizenship, immigration status, or national origin.”
The settlement agreement between the DOJ and the employer provides a civil penalty of $4,144, which the company must pay within ten business days. Furthermore, the company must revise its policies and practices to prevent discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status in its recruitment, hiring, firing, and employment eligibility verification processes (Form I-9).
The company must also provide a statement explaining how the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) can help any applicants and employees who complain formally and informally of discrimination. For example, the IER can assist with concerns about citizenship status or national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment. In addition, it can help with possible bias in the Form I-9 process.
It must also train relevant staff to comply with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. Furthermore, the company must train future Human Resources personnel through an IER Employer/HR Representative webinar. The personnel must view this webinar within 60 days of beginning duties. Finally, the company must submit to monitoring by the department for two years to ensure continued compliance.
As this settlement shows, employers may often struggle with understanding and complying with the INA’s requirements and Form I-9. One of the best ways to ensure compliance is to incorporate an electronic I-9 management tool into the hiring process. This tool can guide personnel through the entire process, guaranteeing uniform completion and storage of forms for each employee.
Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.