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IBM settle suit over jobs listings

DOJ accused IBM’s ads of using preferential language for foreign students

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) will settle a suit claiming some of its jobs postings used language that conveyed a preference toward foreign workers holding temporary visas, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week.

According to the DOJ, IBM posted several jobs listings asking for foreign candidates with technical experience who hold H1-B or F-1 visas. F-1 visas are issued to foreign students studying in the United States, and H-1B visas are issued to foreign nationals with technical expertise in specialized fields.  

The Justice Department says IBM violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which makes it illegal to voice preferences in jobs posting for certain candidates.

As part of the settlement agreement, IBM will pay $44,400 in civil penalties. The company also agreed to revise its hiring and recruiting procedures and train its human resources personnel to ensure compliance with the INA, and to be subject to reporting requirements for two years.

“Employers must give all eligible candidates the equal opportunity to compete for employment,” Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “The department is committed to ensuring employers do not unlawfully discriminate against U.S. citizens and other work-authorized individuals based on their citizenship status.”

The DOJ said the job postings in question were posted between April 2009 and February 2013.

Read more about this story on the Wall Street Journal


Cathleen Flahardy

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