By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Justice Department Settles Claim Against Ikon Systems for Job Advertisements that Discriminated Against U.S. Workers in favor of Temporary Visa Holders

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Justice Department has signed a settlement agreement with Ikon Systems, LLC (Ikon), an IT staffing and recruiting company based in Texas, resolving claims that Ikon routinely discriminated against U.S. workers by posting job advertisements specifying a preference for applicants with temporary work visas, and Ikon failed to consider at least one U.S. citizen applicant who applied to a discriminatory advertisement.

The Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision prohibits employers from discriminating in hiring by preferring candidates with temporary work visas over U.S. workers. Under the INA, employers cannot discriminate based on citizenship, immigration status or national origin at any stage of their hiring process, including the posting of job advertisements, regardless of whether it affects the final hiring outcome.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Ikon will pay to the United States a civil penalty of $27,000; shall pay the Charging Party $15,000 and refer him for client consideration for any job that he is minimally qualified for and expresses an interest in; for a period of six months, provide reports to IER where it places job advertisements and the applicants from those ads; will train its employees, agents, and contractors on the requirements of the INA’s anti-discrimination provision; will create or revise its policies and procedures to comply with the law against immigration status discrimination; shall include in any contracts with recruiters a provision they must comply with this settlement agreement; and be subject to two years of department monitoring requirements.

This is the 11th settlement by the IER under the 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.

If you want to know more about issues of immigration status discrimination, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.