The Department of Justice today announced that it had reached a settlement agreement to resolve a finding of citizenship status discrimination. Challenger Sports Corporation (Challenger) is a soccer instruction company located in Lenexa. It runs soccer programs across the country.
The settlement settles the department’s claim Challenger didn’t consider U.S. workers for full-time jobs as a soccer instructor in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Instead, the company prefers to hire workers with temporary visas.
Based on an independent investigation, the department determined that the Baltimore office of Challenger (1) did not consider U.S. worker applications for full-time soccer instructors positions, because staff assumed that U.S. citizens would not be interested. Employers cannot discriminate based upon citizenship, immigration status or national origin during the hiring process, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Department of Labor also requires that employers who seek permission to hire H-2B workers must first hire all available U.S. workers qualified and available by the deadline.
” A company cannot refuse to hire U.S. workers based on stereotypes or a desire for work opportunities for temporary visa holders. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said that it was illegal to exclude U.S. citizens and immigrants from consideration for jobs. “Excluding U.S. workers from consideration for jobs because of their citizenship or immigration status is unfair and illegal.”
Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Challenger will pay $6,000 in civil penalties and make $36,820 in back pay available to eligible discrimination victims. Challenger will change its policies and procedures in order to comply with the INA anti-discrimination provision. It will also train its employees to understand the law and apply for H-2B visas. The department will require regular reporting to Challenger for two years.
The Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section is responsible for enforcing INA’s anti-discrimination provisions. This statute prohibits discrimination based on citizenship or national origin in hiring, firing or recruiting or referring for a fee; unfair documentation practices; retaliation or intimidation. Find out more about the prohibitions against discrimination based on citizenship status.
Watch this video to learn more about IER and how you can get help. Applicants and employees who feel they have been discriminated against because of their citizenship, immigration status or national origin may file a complaint. The public also can contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; 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. Register to GovDelivery for updates from IER This press release is also available in Spanish.
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