Justice Department Settles Discrimination Claim Against Virginia Recruitment Firm

Justice Department Settles Discrimination Claim Against Virginia Recruitment Firm

The Justice Department today announced that it reached a settlement with Adaequare Inc. (Adaequare), a company that recruits workers for other companies. The settlement resolves the department’s claim that Adaequare only considered applicants who were U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents when filling a job for a client. Based on its investigation, the department concluded that by only considering applicants who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents, Adaequare discriminated against refugees, asylees, and non-citizen nationals, based on their citizenship or immigration status.

“Recruiters cannot illegally exclude applicants based on their citizenship or immigration status,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “We applaud Adaequare for immediately taking steps to ensure that this discrimination does not happen again.”

The department’s investigation determined that when a client asked Adaequare to only recruit U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents for a job, the company did not first check to make sure that the client was legally allowed to limit jobs to those statuses. Instead, the Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) determined, the company unlawfully screened out applicants based on their citizenship or immigration status.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) protects U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, refugees, asylees, and recent lawful permanent residents from this type of discrimination. The law has an exception if an employer or recruiter is required to limit jobs due to a law, regulation, executive order, or government contract. The department’s investigation determined that Adaequare did not have a legal justification for screening out these workers based on their citizenship or immigration status. To help prevent future discrimination, Adaequare now asks clients for a legal justification if a client requests the company to limit candidates for a job to certain citizenship or immigration statuses.

Today’s settlement agreement requires Adaequare to take several steps to ensure it follows the law in the future, including training its employees who recruit to fill positions. The company also must pay a civil penalty. As with its other settlements, IER will also monitor Adaequare to make sure the company is complying with the agreement.

IER is responsible for enforcing discrimination protections under the INA. The law prohibits citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; and retaliation and intimidation. Learn more about citizenship status discrimination under the INA here.

Learn more about IER’s work and how to get assistance through this brief video. Applicants or employees who believe they were discriminated against based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, recruitment, or during the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify); or subjected to retaliation, may file a charge. The public also may contact IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); email [email protected]; sign up for a free webinar; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.

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