US settles with Texas IT company accused of favoring temporary visa holders

Ikon Systems

11 such settlements for H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, F-1 ‘misuse’ net $1.2 million.

The US Justice Department (DOJ) has settled a claim against Ikon Systems, an IT staffing and recruiting company based in Texas, accused of routinely posting job advertisements specifying a preference for applicants with temporary work visas.

The settlement resolves claims that Ikon routinely discriminated against US workers by posting such advertisements, the DOJ announced Tuesday without giving details of the settlement.

This is the eleventh settlement by the Civil Rights Division (CRD) under its 2017 Protecting US Workers Initiative involving employers that discriminated in their use of the H-1B, H-2A, H-2B and F-1 visa programs, it said

Employers have agreed to pay or have distributed a combined total of more than $1.2 million in back pay to affected US workers and civil penalties to the US under these settlements, it said.

READ: Slew of lawsuits by American IT workers who claim discrimination because of Indians on H-1B visas (October 7, 2015)

The department also filed a lawsuit against Facebook on Dec. 3 for allegedly refusing to recruit, consider, or hire qualified and available US workers in favor of temporary visa holders, including in the H‑1B visa program.

The CRD initiative is aimed at targeting, investigating, and taking enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against US workers in favor of temporary visa workers, DOJ said.

“Employers, no matter their size and no matter their industry, cannot limit employment opportunities only to temporary visa holders. When employers post job advertisements that discriminate against US workers, they violate the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) citizenship-status discrimination provision,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division.

“Our message is clear: if employers discriminate in advertising, recruiting, or hiring against US workers by illegally preferring temporary visa holders, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division will act to protect them under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”

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