The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Travel Management Company, a private airplane charter company based in Elkhart, Indiana, resolving claims that the company engaged in citizenship status discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Under the INA, employers may not discriminate in hiring on the basis of citizenship status unless required by law, regulation, executive order or government contract. However, the department's investigation concluded that Travel Management Company had a U.S. citizenship requirement in its job postings for commercial pilot positions, despite the fact that no law, regulation, executive order or government contract authorized the company to restrict employment in this manner. The investigation further established that non-U.S. citizens who applied for the position were eliminated from consideration on the basis of their citizenship status.
Under the settlement agreement, Travel Management Company will pay $22,000 in civil penalties to the United States. The company further agreed to revise its hiring and recruiting procedures, train its human resources personnel to ensure compliance with the INA, and be subject to reporting requirements for a period of two years.
“Employers must give all eligible candidates an equal opportunity to compete for employment and cannot create unlawful discriminatory barriers to work,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division. “The department is committed to ensuring that employers do not unlawfully discriminate against U.S. citizens and other work-authorized individuals based on their citizenship status.”
The Civil Rights Division Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among other things, citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee, unfair documentary practices, and retaliation or intimidation.