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The Justice Department announced today that it has secured a settlement agreement with Kforce Inc. (Kforce), a staffing agency with 36 offices across the United States. The agreement resolves the department’s determination that Kforce violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) by discriminating against non-U.S. citizens with permission to work in the United States and excluding them from job opportunities based on their citizenship status.
“Companies cannot unlawfully exclude people with permission to work in the United States from job opportunities because of their citizenship status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to hold those accountable who engage in behavior that runs afoul of our nation’s federal civil rights laws.”
The department’s investigation determined that from at least March 1, 2019, to Feb. 28, 2022, Kforce distributed job advertisements that contained unlawful hiring restrictions based on citizenship status or otherwise screened out candidates based on their citizenship status. These actions harmed workers who have been granted asylum or refugee status, and lawful permanent residents by unlawfully deterring them from applying to the job advertisements and failing to meaningfully consider those who did apply.
Under the terms of the settlement, Kforce will pay $690,000 in civil penalties to the United States and set aside $230,000 to compensate affected workers. The agreement also requires Kforce to train its personnel on the INA’s requirements, revise its employment policies and be subject to departmental monitoring and reporting requirements.
The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA. Among other things, the statute generally prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation.
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 can also 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 live webinar or watch an on-demand presentation; email IER@usdoj.gov; or visit IER’s English and Spanish websites. Sign up for email updates from IER.