DoJ settles claim against Texas-based company for prioritizing H1-B visa applicants


A Texas-based IT staffing and recruiting company was sued by the US Department of Justice for routinely discriminating against domestic workers in favor of temporary work visas, including the H-1B.

Now the DOJ has come to a settlement with the company agreeing to hire employees without any bias.

Ikon Systems, the accused company posted jobs that specifically targeted applicants with temporary work visas and failed to consider US citizen applicants who applied to the same advertisement, alleged DOJ on Tuesday, December 8.

“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,” he said.

The Department of Justice said that this is the 11th settlement by the Civil Rights Division under its 2017 Protecting US Workers Initiative, which is aimed at targeting, investigating, and taking enforcement actions against companies that discriminate against US workers in favor of temporary visa workers. Investigations against Ikon began after a US citizen led a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division.

Based on its investigation, the Department concluded that from May 8, 2019, to September 21, 2019, Ikon posted at least eight facially discriminatory job advertisements targeting non- US citizens with immigration statuses associated with employment-based visas.

For instance, the investigation revealed that one of Ikon’s advertisements stated, “Looking for OPT, CPT, H4 EAD, and H1B transfer.” The Department also determined that Ikon failed to properly consider a US citizen’s application to one of the job postings due to his citizenship status.