The Department of Justice today announced that it has signed a settlement agreement with Challenger Sports Corporation (Challenger), a Lenexa, Kansas-based soccer education company that manages soccer programs nationwide.
The settlement resolves the department’s claim that Challenger did not consider U.S. applicants for full-time football instructor positions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Northern Virginia because the company preferred to hire workers with temporary visas.
Based on its independent investigation, the department concluded that in the spring of 2019, Challenger’s Baltimore (1) office had not considered applications from American workers for full-time football instructor positions. , because staff assumed that American workers, based on their citizenship status, would not be interested. in posts; and (2) should fill positions with workers holding seasonal employment visas known as H-2B visas. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), employers generally cannot discriminate on the basis of citizenship, immigration status, or national origin at any stage of the hiring process. Additionally, the Department of Labor requires that employers applying for permission to hire H-2B workers first hire all qualified and available U.S. workers who apply within the allotted time frame.
“A company cannot decide to ignore applications from American workers because of stereotypes about their willingness to do certain types of work, or a desire to reserve work opportunities for temporary visa holders,” said Deputy Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. . “Excluding American workers from consideration for jobs because of their citizenship or immigration status is unfair and illegal. “
Under the settlement agreement, Challenger will pay $ 6,000 in civil penalties and make $ 36,820 in wage arrears available to eligible victims of discrimination. Challenger will also change its policies and procedures to comply with the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, train its employees on the requirements of this law before applying for H-2B visas in the future, and be subject to two years of department monitoring requirements, including providing regular reports to the department.
The Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) is responsible for enforcing the INA’s anti-discrimination provision. The law prohibits, inter alia, discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin in hiring, firing, recruiting or counseling for pay; unfair documentary practices; retaliation and intimidation. Learn more about prohibitions against discrimination based on citizenship status.
Learn more about the work of IER and how to get help with this short video. Applicants or employees who believe they have been discriminated against because of their citizenship, immigration status or national origin during hiring, firing, recruiting or during the process of verifying eligibility for the employment (Form I-9 and E-Verify), or subject to retaliation, may file a complaint. The public can also contact the IER worker hotline at 1-800-255-7688; call the IER employer hotline at 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515, TTY for the hearing impaired); email [email protected]; sign up for a free webinar; or visit the IER English and Spanish websites. Subscribe to GovDelivery to receive updates from IER. See the Spanish translation of this press release here.