The Department of Justice today announced that it signed a settlement agreement with Ameritech Global Inc., an IT staffing and recruiting company based in Illinois.
The settlement resolves claims that Ameritech discriminated against U.S. workers when it posted job advertisements specifying its preference for hiring applicants with temporary work visas, and failed to consider at least three U.S. worker applicants who nevertheless applied to the advertised positions.
The department’s investigation began after a U.S. citizen filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division against Ameritech. Based on its investigation, the department concluded that from at least Aug.1, 2019 to June 17, 2021, Ameritech posted at least three job advertisements announcing its preference to fill positions with non-U.S. citizens with immigration statuses associated with certain employment-based visas, and, in doing so, harmed U.S. workers (U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, recent lawful permanent residents, asylees and refugees), by both unlawfully deterring many of them from applying and failing to fairly consider hiring those who nevertheless applied. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), employers are not generally allowed to discriminate in recruitment or hiring based on citizenship status.
“Employers who discourage and refuse to hire eligible job applicants based on their citizenship or immigration status must be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will step in and vigorously enforce the law to ensure that workers are protected from such unlawful discrimination.”
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Ameritech will pay $10,000 in civil penalties to the United States, revise its policies and procedures and train relevant employees and agents on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.
The Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Among other things, the statute prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status or immigration status and national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation. More information about citizenship status discrimination under the INA is available in this flyer.
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, may 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.gov; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER. View the Spanish translation of this press release here.