Firm Fined for Discrimination Against U.S. Citizens

May 2, 2008 ( - A computer consulting company in Pittsburgh accused of showing a preference for H-1B temporary visa holders in its job postings has agreed to pay a $45,000 fine as part of a settlement with the Justice Department.

CNET News reports that the U.S. Department of Justice claims in spring 2006, the firm iGate Mastech published 30 job postings that “expressly favored H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and other legal U.S. workers.” The Justice Department noted the behavior violated the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provisions, which bar employment discrimination based on whether the applicant is a U.S. citizen, according to the news report.

The settlement also requires iGate to train its recruiters and post a “nondiscrimination statement” on its Web site.

U.S. immigration officials recently reported receiving more than 163,000 petitions vying for a congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 H-1Bs visas which allow foreigners with at least a bachelor’s degree in their area of specialty to work in the United States for up to six years. CNET said some members of Congress have proposed doubling or tripling the cap in response to intense lobbying from large high-tech companies like Microsoft, Oracle, and Google.