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IT recruiter settles claims it snubbed American workers

It's a Jersey thing, and the $26,000 can be filed under business expenses

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Wednesday that it reached a settlement with Secureapp Technologies LLC, an IT recruiting firm based in New Jersey, to resolve the department's determination that Secureapp discriminated against US-based job applicants.

The DoJ's Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) claimed [PDF] that between January 10, 2019, and April 6, 2020, Secureapp posted at least a dozen discriminatory jobs ads for only non-US citizens who were seeking sponsorship to work or who already had an employment-based visa.

By doing so, the DoJ says, Secureapp discouraged US citizens and others permitted to work in the US without sponsorship from applying for employment. This violates the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which prohibits employers from recruiting or refusing to hire prospective employees based on their citizenship or immigration status.

"When employers invite applications only from candidates with specified immigration statuses, they deter individuals from applying and deny them a fair chance to be considered," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, in a statement. "The Civil Rights Division is committed to knocking down these unlawful discriminatory barriers."

The settlement requires Secureapp to pay $26,000 in penalties without admitting guilt, to train its recruiters to comply with the law, to post an IER poster [PDF] explaining the right to work, and within 60 days to draft new employment policies subject to IER approval. The recruiting firm will also be subject to IER monitoring.

This is at least the fourth settlement with IT recruiting firms alleging discrimination against US-based workers in the past year.

In May, the DoJ settled findings that Amtex Systems Inc., a New York-based IT company, discriminated against US workers. In June, the department resolved a discrimination finding with California-based IT staffing firm SpringShine Consulting, Inc. And in July, the department settled discrimination allegations with Technology Hub Inc., a Virginia-based IT recruiting business.

In each of these cases, the recruiting firm is said to have solicited work only from non-US workers, such as those in H-1B visas. Such employees are open to abuse, since firing means having to leave the country on short notice, and in 2019 Pradyumna Kumar Samal got seven years in prison for farming out immigrant developers to tech businesses and failing to pay over $1m in taxes.

The Justice Department has also gone after companies for unlawfully favoring US workers. For example, in December, 2021, the DoJ settled allegations that Microsoft had discriminated against non-US citizens based on their citizenship status by asking them for unnecessary documentation.

And in June 16 companies settled similar claims of discriminating against non-US workers with the DoJ. ®

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