ASTA CRS Inc

The settlement resolves a claim that ASTA’s Maryland office discriminated against U.S. workers because of their citizenship status when it posted a job advertisement specifying a preference for non-U.S. citizens who held temporary work visas.

“When a company advertises a job by stating a preference for temporary visa workers, it deters qualified and available U.S. workers from applying and denies those U.S. workers equal opportunity to compete for that employment,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Our message to workers is clear: if companies advertise a preference for temporary visa holders over U.S. workers, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable. This is especially important at a time when more U.S. workers may be seeking employment as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19.”

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-settles-claim-against-virginia-based-staffing-company-improperly-favoring

Triple H Services LLC

Justice Department Settles Claims Against Landscaping Company for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers

The Justice Department today reached a settlement agreement with Triple H Services LLC, (Triple H), a landscaping company based in Newland, North Carolina, that conducts business in Virginia and four other states. The agreement resolves the Department’s investigation into whether Triple H discriminated against qualified and available U.S. workers based on their citizenship status by preferring to hire temporary workers with H-2B visas, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 

The Department’s investigation found that although Triple H went through the motions of advertising over 450 landscape laborer vacancies in five states, it did so in a manner that misled U.S. workers about the available positions and prevented or deterred some from applying. The Department found that Triple H did not consider several qualified U.S. workers who applied for positions in Virginia during the recruitment period, and instead hired H-2B visa workers. In several states where jobs were available, the Department found that Triple H prematurely closed the online job application process for U.S. worker applicants, filled positions with H-2B visa workers without first advertising the jobs to U.S. workers in the relevant locations, or advertised vacancies in a manner that did not make the postings visible to job seekers using state workforce agency online services.  

The Department concluded that in taking these actions, Triple H effectively denied U.S. workers access to jobs based on its preference for hiring temporary H-2B visa workers to fill the positions. Refusing to consider or hire qualified and available U.S. workers based on their citizenship status violates the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, regardless of whether an employer has complied with other rules governing the use of temporary employment-based visa programs. 

Under the settlement, Triple H must establish a back pay fund, with a cap of $85,000, to compensate certain individuals who were harmed by its practices. The agreement also requires Triple H to pay $15,600 in civil penalties, engage in enhanced recruitment activities to attract U.S. workers, and be subject to Departmental monitoring for a three-year period.   

“Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against U.S. workers in hiring because of their citizenship status,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. “The Department will continue to fight to ensure that U.S. workers are not disadvantaged because of their citizenship status.  I commend Triple H for its cooperation with the Department and its willingness to undertake efforts to recruit U.S. workers that go well beyond the minimum requirements for participation in the H-2B visa worker program.”

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-settles-claims-against-landscaping-company-discriminating-against-us

Ikon Systems, LLC

Justice Department Settles Claim Against Texas IT Company for Using Job Advertisements that Discriminated Against and Deterred U.S. Workers in Favor of Temporary Visa Holders

This is the Eleventh Settlement under the Civil Rights Division’s 2017 Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative

The Justice Department today announced that it signed a settlement agreement with Ikon Systems, LLC (Ikon), an IT staffing and recruiting company based in Texas.

This is the eleventh settlement by the Civil Rights Division under its 2017 Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative, which is aimed at targeting, investigating, and taking enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against U.S. workers in favor of temporary visa workers. Today’s settlement resolves claims that Ikon routinely discriminated against U.S. workers by posting job advertisements specifying a preference for applicants with temporary work visas, and that Ikon failed to consider at least one U.S. citizen applicant who applied to a discriminatory advertisement.  

“Employers, no matter their size and no matter their industry, cannot limit employment opportunities only to temporary visa holders. When employers post job advertisements that discriminate against U.S. workers, they violate the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) citizenship-status discrimination provision,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “Our message is clear: if employers discriminate in advertising, recruiting, or hiring against U.S. workers by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will act to protect them under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-settles-claim-against-texas-it-company-using-job-advertisements

Utah Senator Mike Lee

Carlson described the giveaway as an outsourcing scheme levied against young, middle-class Americans who aspire to U.S. technology jobs. Their job prospects, Carlson said, will be crushed as a result:

What will that do to you and your kids? Let’s say you would like to have your kids graduate from college with all the debt they have and get a high-paying job in technology — much less likely now. That job is going to go to someone from another country.

They’ll tell you, “We don’t have enough well-educated people to fill those slots.” Really? As they’re forcing your kids to take classes on Zoom, as they let American schools degrade to the point that they are a joke — Republicans aren’t even disputing that point.

Most notably, Carlson said the giveaway is contrasted against the nation’s mass unemployment crisis whereby nearly 18 million Americans are jobless and another 6.7 million Americans are underemployed but all of whom want full-time jobs.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/12/03/tucker-carlson-foreign-workers-senate-gop-jobless-americans/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Facebook

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that Facebook, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization (or “green cards”) in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM). The positions that were the subject of Facebook’s alleged discrimination against U.S. workers offered an average salary of approximately $156,000. According to the lawsuit, and based on the department’s nearly two-year investigation, Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified U.S. workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs that Facebook instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders Facebook wanted to sponsor for green cards.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEThursday, December 3, 2020

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Against Facebook for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers

The original can be viewed by clicking here.

Lawsuit Alleges Facebook Favors H-1B Visa Workers and Other Temporary Visa Holders over U.S. Workers

The Department of Justice announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Facebook Inc. for discriminating against U.S. workers. 

The lawsuit alleges that Facebook refused to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for over 2,600 positions that Facebook, instead, reserved for temporary visa holders it sponsored for permanent work authorization (or “green cards”) in connection with the permanent labor certification process (PERM). The positions that were the subject of Facebook’s alleged discrimination against U.S. workers offered an average salary of approximately $156,000. According to the lawsuit, and based on the department’s nearly two-year investigation, Facebook intentionally created a hiring system in which it denied qualified U.S. workers a fair opportunity to learn about and apply for jobs that Facebook instead sought to channel to temporary visa holders Facebook wanted to sponsor for green cards.   

“The Department of Justice’s lawsuit alleges that Facebook engaged in intentional and widespread violations of the law, by setting aside positions for temporary visa holders instead of considering interested and qualified U.S. workers,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric S. Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “This lawsuit follows a nearly two-year investigation into Facebook’s practices and a ‘reasonable cause’ determination by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Our message to workers is clear: if companies deny employment opportunities by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice will hold them accountable. Our message to all employers — including those in the technology sector — is clear: you cannot illegally prefer to recruit, consider, or hire temporary visa holders over U.S. workers.”

The department’s lawsuit alleges that beginning no later than Jan. 1, 2018 and lasting until at least Sept. 18, 2019, Facebook employed tactics that discriminated against U.S. workers and routinely preferred temporary visa holders (including H-1B visa holders) for jobs in connection with the PERM process. Rather than conducting a genuine search for qualified and available U.S. workers for permanent positions sought by these temporary visa holders, Facebook reserved the positions for temporary visa holders because of their immigration status, according to the complaint. The complaint also alleges that Facebook sought to channel jobs to temporary visa holders at the expense of U.S. workers by failing to advertise those vacancies on its careers website, requiring applicants to apply by physical mail only, and refusing to consider any U.S. workers who applied for those positions. In contrast, Facebook’s usual hiring process relies on recruitment methods designed to encourage applications by advertising positions on its careers website, accepting electronic applications, and not pre-selecting candidates to be hired based on a candidate’s immigration status, according to the lawsuit.

In its investigation, the department determined that Facebook’s ineffective recruitment methods dissuaded U.S. workers from applying to its PERM positions. The department concluded that, during the relevant period, Facebook received zero or one U.S. worker applicants for 99.7 percent of its PERM positions, while comparable positions at Facebook that were advertised on its careers website during a similar time period typically attracted 100 or more applicants each. These U.S. workers were denied an opportunity to be considered for the jobs Facebook sought to channel to temporary visa holders, according to the lawsuit. 

Not only do Facebook’s alleged practices discriminate against U.S. workers, they have adverse consequences on temporary visa holders by creating an employment relationship that is not on equal terms. An employer that engages in the practices alleged in the lawsuit against Facebook can expect more temporary visa holders to apply for positions and increased retention post-hire. Such temporary visa holders often have limited job mobility and thus are likely to remain with their company until they can adjust status, which for some can be decades.

The United States’ complaint seeks civil penalties, back pay on behalf of U.S. workers denied employment at Facebook due to the alleged discrimination in favor of temporary visa holders, and other relief to ensure Facebook stops the alleged violations in the future. According to the lawsuit, and based on the department’s nearly two-year investigation, Facebook’s discrimination against U.S. workers was intentional, widespread, and in violation of a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b(a)(1), that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division enforces. 

The PERM process is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and allows employers to offer permanent positions to temporary visa holders by converting them to lawful permanent residents who may live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. However, the PERM process requires an employer to first demonstrate that there are no qualified and available U.S. workers for the position that the employer plans to offer to the temporary visa holder. The INA protects U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, refugees, asylees, and recent lawful permanent residents from citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee. Workers who fall outside of these categories are not protected from citizenship status discrimination under the INA.  

This lawsuit is filed as part of the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative, which was started in 2017 and is aimed at targeting, investigating, and taking enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against U.S. workers in favor of temporary visa holders. The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) has reached numerous settlements under the Initiative, and employers have distributed or agreed to pay a combined total of more than $1.2 million in back pay to affected U.S. workers and civil penalties to the United States.  These settlements involve employers that discriminated in their use of H-1BH-2AH-2B, and F-1 visas.

IER is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  The statute prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination 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. 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, can file a charge. The public also can contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email IER@usdoj.govsign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites.  Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.

Members of the public can also report possible civil rights violations through the Civil Rights Division’s reporting portal.