Procter & Gamble, Honeywell and eight other employers have settled allegations that they posted job ads that excluded non-U.S. citizens, the U.S. Department of Justice announced May 23. Together, the ten paid more than $460,000 to settle the claims.
DOJ said a student at Georgia Institute of Technology filed a discrimination complaint, alleging an internship advertised on the school’s recruiting platform was restricted to U.S. citizens. The student was a permanent resident at the time — a status that does not confer citizenship but does provide employment eligibility.
The agency investigated and said it discovered many other discriminatory ads on Georgia Tech’s platform. Each of the 10 employers that settled posted at least one job announcement excluding non-U.S. citizens; specifically, DOJ said, “the advertisements deterred qualified students from applying for jobs because of their citizenship status, and in many cases the citizenship status restrictions also blocked students from applying or even meeting with company recruiters.”
Several other employers have settled similar DOJ claims in the past year: 30 employers in total have agreed to pay a collective $1.6 million in civil penalties, the agency said.
In Tuesday’s announcement, DOJ reminded employers that federal law generally prohibits them from limiting jobs based on a worker’s citizenship or immigration status. It also emphasized that the area remains an enforcement focus for the agency. This week’s settlements “should make clear our commitment to enforcing federal civil rights laws to ensure that all applicants have a fair and equal chance to compete for jobs,” Kristen Clarke, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in the agency’s release.
Neither P&G nor Honeywell responded to a request for comment by press time.