DOJ files first suit alleging company defied 'Hire American' order
- The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged a Colorado company with discriminating against American workers by preferring to hire seasonal foreign workers instead, the New York Post reports.
- According to the DOJ, Crop Production Services Inc. did not hire at least three workers in 2016 because it instead hired temporary foreign workers with H-2A visas. Since President Trump signed his "buy American and hire American" executive order in April, Crop Production Services is the first employer to be prosecuted under the rule.
- The DOJ wants Crop Production Services Inc. to pay the plaintiffs' civil penalties and back pay and adopt anti-discrimination measures, says the New York Post.
The "buy American and hire American" executive order was a first step in enforcing restrictions on workers coming to the U.S. for work. The intent reportedly was to create more work opportunities for Americans.
If anything, the Crop Production case proves that the Justice Department under the Trump administration is committed to upholding the order. Employers that want to shore up talent pipelines by hiring visa-holding talent should note this case as an example of what they could face if not careful about proving Americans won't take the work.
But the problem for many companies is that the talent shortage is a real, business-threatening problem that visa programs help alleviate. A lack of H-2B visas has left some hospitality businesses to consider closing, as they may not have enough people to make up the difference. Regardless, the current administration remains focused on enforcement. The executive order, expanded requirements for visa approvals (including more in-person interviews) as well as new I-9 forms have all thrown potential wrenches into employers' hiring plans.