DOJ Cautions Employers Seeking H-1B
Visas Not to Discriminate Against U.S. Workers
April 4, 2017
Justice Department cautioned employers petitioning for H-1B visas not to
discriminate against U.S. workers. The warning came as the federal
government began accepting employers’ H-1B visa petitions for the next
fiscal year. The H-1B visa program allows companies in the United States
to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations such as
science and information technology.
The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act
(INA) generally prohibits employers from discriminating against U.S.
workers because of their citizenship or national origin in hiring,
firing and recruiting. Employers violate the INA if they have a
discriminatory hiring preference that favors H-1B visa holders over U.S.
Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa
process to discriminate against U.S. workers,” said Acting Assistant
Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division. “U.S. workers
should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is
wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting
The division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), formerly
known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair
Employment Practices, is responsible for enforcing the
anti-discrimination provision of the INA. The statute prohibits, among
other things, citizenship, immigration status and national origin
discrimination in hiring, firing or recruitment or referral for a fee;
unfair documentary practices; retaliation and intimidation.
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