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DOJ Settles Discrimination Claim against MicroLink Devices; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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The Justice Department has reached a settlement agreement with MicroLink Devices, an Illinois manufacturer of semiconductor structures and advanced solar cells.  The agreement resolves allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (INA), when it placed six online job postings that explicitly stated citizenship status requirements that excluded certain work-authorized non-citizens from consideration.


Under the INA, employers may not discriminate on the basis of citizenship status unless required to comply with law, regulation, executive order or government contract.   Although MicroLink Devices is a party to several federal contracts subject to the International Traffic in Arms
Regulations (ITAR), which control the export and import of sensitive technology, ITAR does not require or permit employers to limit job applicants to or prefer U.S. citizens in the hiring process.  The job postings therefore impermissibly discriminated against non-citizen workers eligible for the advertised positions, such as lawful permanent residents, refugees and asylees.


Under the settlement agreement, MicroLink Devices will pay $12,000 in civil penalties, revise its hiring and recruiting procedures, conform future job postings to the requirements of the law, and to be subject to training, reporting and compliance and monitoring requirements.  


This settlement is just another example of how companies need to consult with their immigration and employment attorneys (usually separate attorneys though in my case, I am both) about job postings and requirements.

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