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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

DOJ Settles with Avant Healthcare concerning Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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The Department of Justice, Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices  reached a settlement with Avant Healthcare Professionals LLC, a healthcare staffing company based in Casselberry, Fla. , resolving allegations that the company posted discriminatory job advertisements on the internet.



According to DOJ's investigation, 100s of Avant Healthcare'S  internet-based job postings contained discriminatory language, impermissibly preferring foreign-trained individuals seeking permanent residence or H-1B visa sponsorship  over U.S. workers.   The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of citizenship or immigration status unless required by law, regulation or government contract.   None of those limited exceptions applied to Avant's recruitment efforts.


Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Avant agreed to pay $27,750 in civil penalties, to change its internal policies and written procedures to incorporate the INA's anti-discrimination protections, and to be subject to reporting and compliance monitoring requirements for a period of three years.


Although employers usually worry more about Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) audits and inspections, DOJ investigations can also be costly. Based upon this settlement, it appears the DOJ is continuing in 2013 its strenous efforts to enforce the INA's anti-discrimination protections.


 


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