Justice Department Reaches Settlement with New Jersey IT Recruiting Firm Over Discriminatory Job Advertisements
On May 22, 2023, the Justice Department announced it had reached a settlement agreement with the New Jersey IT recruiting and contracting firm Infosoft Solutions, Inc. doing business as KForce Tech, LLC. The Justice Department previously determined Infosoft Solutions, Inc had committed violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when the company posted six advertisements for job positions which the Justice Department categorized as discriminatory. These discriminatory job advertisements sought to solicit applications only from non-U.S. citizens who needed visa sponsorship, and even in some cases, sought applicants only from India.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clark of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division stated, “When employers advertise jobs only to applicants from a certain country or who need temporary visas, they discourage all other eligible workers and deny them a fair chance to be considered.” She further went on to state that “the Civil Rights Division will not tolerate national origin or citizenship status discrimination and is committed to knocking down these unlawful discriminatory barriers.”
Between July 2021 and August 2021 Infosoft Solutions, Inc posted at least six different job advertisements which requested applications only from applicants who wanted sponsorship in the United States or who already had an employment-based temporary work visa. One of the job advertisements went further to require the applicants to be from India. By placing these restrictions on the potential applicants, the company deterred workers who were legally authorized to work in the United States from applying for the open positions. Asylees, refugees, lawful permanent residents, U.S. nationals, and U.S. citizens, who are all able to work in the United States without any sponsorship, were denied the ability to be fairly considered for the employment opportunities presented. Under the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, employers are prohibited from recruiting or refusing to hire workers based on their citizenship status or national origin.
The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division is responsible for overseeing and enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. These provisions define what is discriminatory conduct under the INA.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision, 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, the following are considered prohibited discriminatory conduct:
- Citizenship status discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four or more employees;
- National origin discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four to 14 employees;
- Unfair documentary practices related to verifying the employment eligibility of employees; and
- Retaliation/Intimidation as employers of any size are not allowed to intimidate, threaten, coerce, or retaliate against individuals who have filed charges with or cooperated with the IER.
Under the terms of the settlement agreement reached between the Justice Department and Infosoft Solutions, LLC, the New Jersey based IT recruiting and contracting company will have to pay the United States civil penalties totalling $25,500.00. This agreement also requires Infosoft Solutions, LLC to engage in training programs to train company recruiters on the INA’s requirements, amend its employment policies, and be subject to monitoring by and reporting to the Justice Department.
In order to avoid discrimination when engaging in hiring and recruitment processes, especially when navigating the immigration processes involved, it is best to coordinate with an experienced attorney. For over 25 years, Reddy & Neumann, P.C. has focused solely on U.S. employment-based immigration, and works with employers to establish best practices when dealing with PERM based recruitment.
By: Jessica Palarca
Jessica Palarca is an attorney in Reddy & Neumann’s PERM Labor Certification Department where she assists clients in the beginning stages of the green card process.
Jessica earned her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2009 and was admitted into the Texas bar the same year. As the child of two immigrant parents, Jessica found her passion for immigration law early in her career. With over a decade of experience in both the private and non-profit sectors, she brings a different perspective to each case she handles. Through the years, Jessica has learned that to achieve the best possible results for each individual served, one must keep things simple and provide personalized attention and care to each case.