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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Justice Department Files Lawsuit Alleging Transperfect Staffing Solutions Discriminated Against Dual U.S. Citizens and Work-Authorized Non-U.S. Citizens

The Department of Justice  announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Chancery Staffing Solutions LLC (Chancery Staffing), a temporary staffing agency headquartered in New York. Chancery Staffing is the successor to TransPerfect Staffing Solutions LLC (TransPerfect Staffing) and continues to do business as both TransPerfect Staffing Solutions and TransPerfect Legal Solutions. The lawsuit alleges that TransPerfect Staffing discriminated against non-U.S. citizens and dual U.S. citizens in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and that Chancery Staffing is liable for the discrimination as its successor. 

“Staffing agencies must be diligent in satisfying their obligation under the INA to avoid citizenship status discrimination against U.S. citizens and protected non-citizens, even when that discrimination is requested by a client,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to challenging such unlawful and discriminatory hiring practices.”

The lawsuit alleges that from at least April 4, 2017, to at least July 7, 2017, TransPerfect Staffing limited its recruitment and hiring of attorneys for a temporary document review project to U.S. citizens only. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that from at least May 12, 2017, to July 7, 2017, TransPerfect Staffing further restricted its recruitment and hiring for positions under the project to exclude U.S. citizens who were also citizens of another country. Although it implemented these discriminatory policies at the request of a client, TransPerfect Staffing actively participated in the discriminatory hiring process and remained the employer of the document reviewers assigned to the project, according to the lawsuit. 

Under the INA, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate intentionally against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, recent lawful permanent residents, asylees and refugees in hiring unless required to comply with a law, regulation, executive order, Attorney General determination, or provision of a federal, state, or local government contract. Absent such a requirement, employers that limit their hiring to U.S. citizens may violate the INA’s anti-discrimination provision.               

The United States’ complaint seeks civil penalties, back pay on behalf of the workers, and other remedial relief to correct and prevent discrimination. The United States filed its suit in the Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer, a specialized administrative court that Congress created to resolve such claims. 

The Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) 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; retaliation; and intimidation.   

More information on how employers can avoid unlawful citizenship status discrimination is available here. For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call IER’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call IER’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); sign up for a free webinar; email IER@usdoj.gov; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER.

Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to discrimination based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; or discrimination in the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9 and E-Verify) based on their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin; or retaliation can file a charge or contact IER’s worker hotline for assistance.

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
Updated May 9, 2019