The Justice Department announced today that it has completed four additional settlements to resolve allegations that companies discriminated against non-US citizens by posting job listings with unlawful restrictions on citizenship status on college job-seeking platforms. These four agreements add to the department’s recent settlements with 16 other companies to resolve similar claims in June 2022, bringing the total civil penalties for all 20 employers to more than $1.1 million.
“With these four new settlements this year, the Department has now held 20 companies responsible for discriminating against students based on their citizenship status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Civil Rights is committed to enforcing the law to ensure job seekers — including lawful permanent residents, U.S. citizens, asylum seekers and refugees — are not unlawfully excluded from employment opportunities for which they are qualified.”
The department’s involvement in these matters began after a Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) student, who was then a lawful permanent resident, filed a discrimination complaint with the Immigration and Labor Rights Division of the Civil Rights Division. The student’s complaint alleged that Capital One Bank restricted the opportunity for a paid internship to US citizens only when it posted the job on a Georgia Tech recruitment platform. During its investigation, the department learned of dozens of other employers with face-discriminatory ads posted on Georgia Tech’s job-recruiting platform, as well as other college platforms across the United States. The department has launched investigations into the 20 employers it has already established with and is continuing to investigate additional employers.
The department’s investigation found that each of the four companies posted at least one job listing on an online job-seeking platform operated by Georgia Tech, excluding non-US citizens. Three of the companies – CarMax, Axis Analytics and Capital One Bank – also ran discriminatory ads on other college job platforms. The ministry found that the ads discouraged qualified students from applying for jobs based on their citizenship status, and in many cases the restrictions on citizenship status also prevented students from applying or even meeting with company recruiters.
The new settlements would see the four companies — CarMax, Axis Analytics LLC (aka Axis Group), Capital One Bank and Walmart — pay a total of $331,520 in civil penalties, based on the number of discriminatory ads they published. CarMax pays $186,480; Axis Analytics pays $53,872; Capital One Bank pays $49,728; and Walmart pays $41,440. In addition to paying civil penalties, the four employers must also require their hiring staff to receive training on their obligations under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and refrain from including certain citizenship or immigrant status designations in their campus job assignments , unless the limitations are required by law. They will also ensure that their other recruitment practices and policies are consistent with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.
The INA generally prohibits employers and recruiters from restricting jobs based on citizenship or immigrant status unless required by law, regulation, executive order, or government treaty. The INA protects US citizens, US nationals, refugees, asylum seekers, and recent lawful permanent residents from discrimination based on citizenship status in hiring, firing, and recruiting or transfer for a fee.
The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Labor Rights (IER) Division is responsible for enforcing the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. The law prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, or hiring or transfer for a fee; unfair documentation practices; and retaliation and intimidation.
Learn more about how IER works and how to get support in this short video. Visit the IER website for more information on how employers can avoid discrimination based on citizenship status in hiring and recruitment. Applicants or employees who believe they have been discriminated against because of their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin during hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or are exposed to reprisals can file a complaint. The public may also call IER’s employee hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); Call IER’s Employer Helpline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); email [email protected]; register for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.