The Justice Department announced today that it has secured a settlement agreement with N2 Services Inc. (N2), an IT services company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The agreement resolves the department’s determination that N2 discriminated against workers based on their citizenship status when it published discriminatory job advertisements online that required applicants to have a specific immigration status.
“Employers cannot use unlawful discriminatory language in job postings to exclude applicants based on their citizenship or immigration status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to enforce the law against these types of pernicious employment practices.”
The department determined on investigation that N2, through its recruiting agent based abroad, published a job advertisement online titled, “Software Developer Exclusively for OPT,” with criteria that indicated that applicants “must be under OPT visa right now.” Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a temporary work authorization status given to certain non-U.S. citizen students in the United States. The advertisement thus unlawfully excluded asylees, refugees, lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens and nationals, and the advertisement deterred such workers from applying to the position. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)’s anti-discrimination provision generally prohibits employers from discriminating against workers in the recruiting or hiring process based on their citizenship or immigration status.
Under the terms of the agreement, N2 will pay a civil penalty for the violation, post notices informing workers of their rights under the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, train its staff, review and revise its employment policies and training materials, and be subject to departmental monitoring for two years.
The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee, unfair documentary practices and retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Find more information on how employers can avoid citizenship status discrimination on IER’s website. 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 can also call IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); 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 for email updates from IER.