According to DOJs investigation, 100s of Avant Healthcare'S* internet-based job postings contained discriminatory language, impermissibly preferring foreign-trained individuals seeking permanent residence or H-1B visa sponsorship**over U.S. workers.***The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of citizenship or immigration status unless required by law, regulation or government contract.***None of those limited exceptions applied to Avants recruitment efforts.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Avant agreed to pay $27,750 in civil penalties, to change its internal policies and written procedures to incorporate the INAs anti-discrimination protections, and to be subject to reporting and compliance monitoring requirements for a period of three years.
Although employers usually worry more about Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits and inspections, DOJ investigations can*also be costly.*Based upon this settlement, it appears the DOJ is continuing in 2013 its strenous efforts to enforce the INAs anti-discrimination protections.
Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the at Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C. He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on immigration compliance for employers, and employment/labor law. Mr. Buchanan received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1982 and a B.S. degree from Florida State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Mr. Buchanan has been in private practice since 2003. Beforehand, he served as Senior Trial Specialist for the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years. He also served from 1991 to 2003 as Adjunct Professor at William H. Bowen UALR School of Law, where he taught courses in Labor Law and Employment Law. Mr. Buchanan was chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Law Section from 2011 to 2012 and has been the editor of the TBA's Immigration Law Section Newsletter and the TBA's Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter since 2009. Mr. Buchanan is a frequent writer and speaker on immigration compliance as well as labor law, wage & hour law and proposed federal legislation. He is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as the Advocacy Liaison of the Mid-South Chapter of AILA. Mr. Buchanan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) and is an associate member of the Mid-Tennessee Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. Mr. Buchanan is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.