- Igloo Products Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice have settle claims that the company discriminated against U.S. workers by reserving select positions for applicants with temporary work visas, the agency announced Nov. 15.
- The cooler producer did not consider U.S. applicants for seasonal production helper positions, according to a DOJ investigation. The company "assumed that U.S. workers would not be interested in temporary seasonal employment," the agency said.
- Igloo will pay $21,000 in civil penalties to the U.S., per the settlement. It will also provide $40,000 in back pay for those eligible.
DOJ issued a warning in the statement announcing the settled claims. "Employers cannot favor workers on temporary visas and ignore applications from qualified U.S. workers because of assumptions based on citizenship or immigration status," said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of DOJ's Civil Rights Division.
The agency made a similar admonition when it sued Facebook in December 2020 over claims that paralleled those it made against Igloo. In October, Facebook and DOJ reached a settlement that ordered the social media giant to pay a $4.75 million civil money penalty to the U.S.
The allegations against Facebook centered on DOJ investigation findings that the company refused to consider U.S. applicants for select positions. DOJ's lawsuit claimed that Facebook used alternate recruiting methods that were "designed to deter U.S. workers from applying to certain positions."
Employers looking to steer clear of the kinds of discrimination claims DOJ made against Facebook and Igloo must avoid a few key pitfalls, an employment law attorney previously told HR Dive. They must be careful to keep recruiting consistent among foreign and domestic applicants; ensure visa-holding workers' wages are compliant with immigration law; and keep up with recordkeeping requirements.