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Justice department settles with IT staffing firm over alleged bias in job ads

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Innova Solutions settles immigration bias claims

Georgia-based IT staffing firm Innova Solutions, formerly known as American CyberSystems Inc., has reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice following allegations of immigration-related bias. The Department of Justice revealed that the company had advertised two positions in a manner that discriminated against certain applicants based on their citizenship statuses.

According to the Department, one of the allegations against Innova Solutions involved a discriminatory advertisement that exclusively targeted US citizens and lawful permanent residents while excluding US nationals, refugees, and individuals seeking asylum. The department further noted that the advertised position required access to materials subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Export Administration Regulations.

The Department explained that employers are required by law to obtain special authorization from the US government for certain workers if their roles involve accessing export-controlled items. However, under these regulations, US nationals, asylees, and refugees possess the same privileges as US citizens and lawful permanent residents, and no authorization is necessary for employers to share export-controlled items with these workers. Consequently, the Department concluded that Innova Solutions had no justifiable reason to exclude these individuals from the hiring process.

The company faced another allegation for posting a separate job advertisement that specifically targeted workers with temporary work visas, according to the Department.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division emphasized that employers must not engage in unlawful discrimination based on an individual’s citizenship status during the job advertising process. The Department expressed this sentiment in a press release.

As part of the settlement, Innova Solutions has agreed to provide training to its recruiting and human resources staff regarding the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision. The company will also conduct a comprehensive review of its policies to ensure compliance with relevant laws and will be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements imposed by the Department. Additionally, Innova Solutions will be required to pay a civil penalty.

In response to the settlement, Innova Solutions released a statement to Staffing Industry Analysts, asserting its commitment to inclusive hiring practices and denying any unlawful discrimination or violation of the law. The company, identified as a Minority Business Enterprise, confirmed that it is collaborating with the IER (Immigrant and Employee Rights) to ensure ongoing compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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