The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it reached an agreement with a New York-based IT staffing firm. This agreement resolves the DOJ’s allegations that the company discriminated against certain populations, which violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). According to the DOJ’s investigation, the employer posted job advertisements containing language soliciting applications from those with specific citizenship and immigration statuses.
More specifically, the DOJ alleged that the company posted six job advertisements that violated the INA’s requirements. Of the six, two contained language limiting positions to only Optional Practical Training (OPT) applicants. Limiting the jobs like this would discriminate against U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, asylees, and refugees. The other advertisements allegedly had language restricting applications to only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
In most cases, the INA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals in recruiting or hiring. Such discrimination includes judging national origin, citizenship, or immigration status. The INA also has limitations after hiring an employee. For example, employers cannot reject facially valid documentation that the new hire presented. In addition, employers cannot request workers to submit specific documentation or ask for more documentation than the law requires to prove work authorization.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division stated, “Employers have a responsibility to ensure that their job advertisements and hiring processes do not unlawfully exclude individuals because of their citizenship or immigration status. The Civil Rights Division is committed to knocking down unnecessary barriers that deny people job opportunities.”
Under this settlement, the company must pay a civil penalty of $24,864 within 10 business days of the settlement’s effective date. In addition, it must update its employment policies within 60 days and provide its recruiters with training in the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements. Finally, the DOJ will monitor the company and subject them to additional reporting requirements.
The INA and similar federal legislation place significant regulatory requirements on employers. As such, regulation often proves strict in recruitment and employment eligibility verification (Form I-9). With confusing documentary requirements and constantly changing rules, completing Form I-9s can quickly become a minefield for litigation. One of the employers’ best ways to ensure compliance is to incorporate an electronic I-9 management system into their hiring process. This system can provide step-by-step guidance to completing the employment eligibility verification process and securely store forms and documentation.
When it comes to your work, automation makes eligibility verification quick and seamless. Get a head start today with I-9 Compliance.