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Friday, September 26, 2014

Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against Texas Bus Company for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers

The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with Autobuses Ejecutivos LLC, doing business as Omnibus Express, a bus company based in Houston, Texas.  The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in August 2013 by the department under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) antidiscrimination provision.  The lawsuit alleged that the company discriminated against U.S. workers by preferring to hire workers on temporary H-2B visas for its bus driver positions.

Under the settlement agreement, Omnibus Express will establish a $208,000 fund to compensate victims of its discriminatory practices, pay $37,800 in civil penalties to the United States and be subject to monitoring of its hiring and recruiting practices for a two-year period.  Individuals who sought bus driver positions with Omnibus Express between August 2012 and February 2013, but were not hired, should contact Joann Sazama at (202) 307-3092, or Ryan Thompson at (202) 616-5557. 

“Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of citizenship status in hiring and recruiting,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Molly Moran for the Civil Rights Division.  “The department is committed to investigating and prosecuting discriminatory hiring preferences that impede the ability of U.S. citizens and other work-authorized individuals to compete equally for employment.”

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 citizenship status and national origin discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee; unfair documentary practices; retaliation; and intimidation.  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 www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc/webinars.php; email osccrt@usdoj.gov; or visit the website at www.justice.gov/crt/about/osc.  

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 for a fee, should contact OSC’s worker hotline for assistance. 

Updated August 28, 2015