A government subcontractor located in Maryland recently reached a settlement with the Justice Department following allegations that the company had engaged in hiring discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Government subcontractor settles in hiring discrimination case
An investigation found that The Data Entry Company Inc. removed an applicant from its job candidate pool on two separate occasions because the individual is a dual citizen, according to the DOJ. The INA does not allow companies to discriminate on the basis of citizenship, something the subcontractor did by removing the person from its list of potential hires. As long as someone is currently eligible to work in the U.S., regardless of national origin or citizenship status, that individual is allowed the same privileges during the hiring process as any U.S. citizen. Any extra steps taken by an employer when hiring someone who has dual citizenship, or wasn't born in the U.S. - including removing him or her from the applicant pool altogether - are considered to be discrimination.
"There are myriad forms of discrimination possible through hiring processes."
Any business caught engaging in any sort of hiring discrimination will likely end up with a penalty levied against it, like the one The Data Entry Company must now pay for its own alleged noncompliant hiring practices. Under the settlement agreement struck between the subcontractor and the DOJ, the company will have to pay $7,007.75 in back pay to the individual who was removed from the applicant pool. The Data Entry Company had to pay a civil penalty to the U.S. as a result of its INA violation. Additionally, staff of the government subcontractor will be required to undergo training on the anti-discrimination portion of the INA to satisfy the provisions of the settlement.
Preventing discrimination during the hiring process
There are myriad forms of discrimination possible through hiring processes that should be avoided by employers. For example, if an applicant has dual citizenship or was born in a different country, it is illegal to request specific documents from that individual, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Instead, the same hiring process must be used for every single applicant to prevent any sort of potential discrimination. It is also illegal to refuse a document because it is about to expire, ask for employment authorization proof prior to offering a job or ask for specific documents when attempting to reverify an individual's eligibility to work in the U.S.