H1B Visa: US Settles Lawsuit Against IT Company For Discrimination Against US Workers For H-1B Holders

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that it has entered into a settlement agreement with a Texas-based IT staffing and recruiting company for habitually discriminating against domestic workers in favor of temporary work visas, including the H-1B.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department alleged that Ikon Systems routinely discriminated against U.S. workers by posting job advertisements that specified a preference for applicants with temporary work visas, and that the company failed to consider at least one U.S. citizen applicant who applied. a discriminatory advertisement.

“Employers, regardless of their size and regardless of their industry, cannot limit employment opportunities to only temporary visa holders. When employers post job advertisements that discriminate against American workers, they violate the citizenship status discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), ”said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.

“Our message is clear: If employers discriminate in advertising, recruiting, or hiring US workers by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division will act to protect them under the Immigration and Nationality Act,” he said. .

The H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialized occupations that require theoretical or technical experience. The United States issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas each year. They are generally issued for three years and are renewable. Most of the nearly 600,000 H-1B visa holders are from India and China.

The Justice Department said this is the Civil Rights Division’s 11th settlement under its 2017 U.S. Worker Protection Initiative, which aims to attack, investigate, and take enforcement action against businesses. that discriminate against US workers.
The investigations against Ikon began after a US citizen filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division.

Based on its investigation, the Department concluded that from May 8, 2019 to September 21, 2019, Ikon posted at least eight job postings with facial discrimination targeting non-U.S. Citizens with immigration status associated with employment-based visas. .

For example, the investigation revealed that one of Ikon’s ads read: “Seeking transfer of OPT, CPT, H4 EAD and H-1B.” The Department also determined that Ikon did not adequately consider a US citizen’s application for one of the job offers due to his citizenship status.