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Press Release

Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim Against Staffing Company

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department reached an agreement today with Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International Inc., a company based in Menlo Park, California, resolving claims that the company engaged in citizenship status discrimination in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The department’s investigation, based on a charge by a naturalized U.S. citizen, concluded that Accountemps refused to refer the charging party for a federal government contract position because, as a naturalized citizen, the charging party was not born in the United States.  Under the INA, employers cannot discriminate against U.S. citizens based on their citizenship status, including refusing to hire them based on whether they were born in or outside the United States.

Under the settlement, Accountemps will continue to refer the charging party for positions for which she is qualified, pay a $2,500 civil penalty, train its staff on the anti-discrimination provision of the INA, and be subject to a one-year monitoring period.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision does not recognize different classes of U.S. citizens when it comes to the right to work in the United States,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Civil Rights Division.  “We applaud Accountemps for its cooperation in addressing the concerns raised in this matter.”

The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.  Among other things, the statute prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, recruitment and referral for a fee based on citizenship or immigration status.  For more information about protections against employment discrimination under immigration laws, call OSC’s worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); call OSC’s employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for hearing impaired); sign up for a free webinar at; email; or visit OSC’s website at   

Applicants or employees who believe they were subjected to: different documentary requirements based on their citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin; or discrimination based on their citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral, should contact the worker hotline above for assistance.

Updated June 9, 2023

Press Release Number: 15-771