Justice Department Takes Action Against Job Discrimination


The Justice Department continues to set precedence against job discrimination, securing ten more settlements from companies that posted discriminatory job advertisements on a college recruiting platform. These incidents highlight the critical need for small businesses to abide by fair and non-discriminatory employment practices.

In a recent announcement, the department reported settling with companies that used a college recruitment platform to post job ads, unlawfully excluding non-U.S. citizens. The Justice Department has been steadfast in its efforts to tackle such discrimination, securing similar settlements with 20 other companies—16 in June 2022 and four more in September 2022. The total civil penalty imposed on all 30 employers has now surpassed $1.6 million.

“The Justice Department has now held 30 companies accountable for using a college recruitment platform to post discriminatory job advertisements that locked non-U.S. citizen students out of job opportunities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “These 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.”

The Justice Department was prompted to act after a Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) student, who was a lawful permanent resident, filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division. The student claimed a bank’s advertisement on a Georgia Tech job recruitment platform restricted the posted internship opportunity to U.S. citizens only. This complaint sparked an investigation, revealing several discriminatory advertisements on Georgia Tech’s job recruiting platform and platforms run by other colleges across the United States.

The department identified that each of the ten newly settled employers had posted at least one job announcement on Georgia Tech’s online job recruitment platform that excluded non-U.S. citizens. It determined that these advertisements deterred qualified students from applying for jobs based on their citizenship status. In many cases, the citizenship status restrictions prevented students from applying or even meeting with company recruiters.

These new settlements, like the previous 20, required each company to pay a civil penalty based on the number of discriminatory advertisements posted.

For small business owners, these settlements offer a stark reminder of the importance of fair and non-discriminatory hiring practices. Business owners should ensure their recruitment processes are compliant with federal civil rights laws and offer equal opportunities to all potential candidates, regardless of their citizenship status. By doing so, not only do they adhere to the law, but they also foster a more diverse and inclusive work environment.

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.