Tech Firm to Pay $45,000 for Discriminatory 'H-1B Only' Job Ads

The Department of Justice announced that iGate Mastech Inc., a Pittsburgh-based computer consulting company, has agreed to pay $45,000 in civil penalties to settle allegations that it discriminated against U.S. citizens in its employment practices. The settlement also requires the company to train its recruitment personnel and to post a nondiscrimination statement on its Web site.

The settlement stems from DOJ's finding that, between May 9, 2006, and June 4, 2006, the company placed 30 job announcements for computer programmers that expressly favored H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other legal U.S. workers. Some of the ads contained text identical or similar to, "Only H-1s apply, and should be willing to transfer H-1B." Such preference constituted citizenship status discrimination and is prohibited by the Immigration and Nationality Act. H-1Bs allow foreigners with at least a bachelor's degree in their area of specialty to work in the United States for up to six years.

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices in the Civil Rights Division, which conducted the investigation in this matter, will continue to monitor the computer consulting company to ensure compliance with the settlement agreement. OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the INA which protect U.S. citizens and certain work-authorized individuals from employment discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status. "We are committed to protecting the right of all authorized workers in the United States against citizenship status discrimination," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

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