Justice Department wins lawsuit against farm which hired foreign workers on visa.
NEW YORK: In a sign of things to come for corporate companies who displace American workers with workers on a visa, the Justice Department has won a lawsuit against a farm company who it was determined, discriminated against a US citizen.
The Justice Department won the lawsuit against Estopy Farms regarding allegations that the company discriminated against a U.S. citizen by preferring to hire foreign workers. The case was decided by the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, the administrative court authorized to hear discrimination cases under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The court found that Estopy Farms, a farm that harvests crops in Texas, violated the INA when it refused to hire a qualified U.S. worker to operate agricultural equipment because the company preferred to hire foreign workers under the H-2 visa program. The case now moves to the remedial phase for the court to determine what Estopy Farms must do to remedy the violation, which includes the possibility of paying civil penalties.
“Companies cannot manipulate visa programs to discriminate against U.S. workers because of their citizenship,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division. “This ruling sends a strong message to all employers that discrimination against U.S. workers will not be tolerated.”
The case was litigated by the Justice Department’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC), which is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA