Friday, June 27, 2008

Company Fined for Discriminating Against US Citizens

Recently an employer was fined for recruiting practices that the federal government found discriminated against US citizens and favored foreign workers. The Department of Justice recently announced that a Pittsburgh computer consulting company iGate Mastech Inc. will pay $45,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that for a month in 2006 iGate placed 30 job announcements for computer programmers that expressly favored H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other legal U.S. workers. Such preference constituted citizenship status discrimination which is prohibited by the federal immigration law called the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Justice Department’s action resulted from a complaint filed by the Programmers Guild, an advocacy group for US technology workers. The settlement also requires the company to train its recruitment personnel and to post a nondiscrimination statement on its Web site. The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) in the Civil Rights Division conducted the investigation in this matter. It will continue to monitor iGate. OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which protect U.S. citizens and certain work-authorized individuals from employment discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status. The INA also protects all work-authorized individuals from national origin discrimination, unfair documentary practices relating to the employment eligibility verification process, and from retaliation. This is a reminder to employers that recruiting practices must be neutral and must not discriminate against anyone based on citizenship status. Workers are protected both by federal employment laws and immigration laws. For more information about protections against employment discrimination under the immigration laws, call 1-800-255-7688 (OSC’s worker hotline) (1-800-237-2525, TDD for hearing impaired), 1-800-255-8255 (OSC’s employer hotline) (1-800-362-2735, TDD for hearing impaired), or 202-616-5594. Email, or visit the Web site at http://www.usdoj/gov/crt/osc. For information about employer training on these and other legal issues, see Kim Ryan's training website at For information about employment discrimination and harassment, see The Ryan Law Firm's website at