DOJ Acts on Tip from Bright Future Jobs
Avant Healthcare put on 3 year EEO-Rehab for excluding Americans in Help Wanted Ads
CHICAGO (February 20, 2013)--The Department of Justice (DOJ) reached a settlement with Avant Healthcare, a federal government contractor, for posting over 100 discriminatory want ads excluding Americans, as a result of a tip sent by Bright Future Jobs. Avant’s ads, posted on an American job portal, targeted foreign nationals for job openings in the U.S. and contained offers of H1-b visas and green cards.
Bright Future Jobs, a tech advocacy group, is circulating an online petition in support of the DOJ for acting on the tip from its organization. “We found these ads reprehensible and sent them to the DOJ with a simple request: Send this company to EEO-Rehab,” explained Donna Conroy, Director, Bright Future Jobs.
Bright Future Jobs was born in reaction to such job ads excluding Americans that have been cropping up on job portals all across the United States.
According to an agency press release, dated Feb. 8, 2013, the DOJ found the ads “contained language impermissibly preferring foreign-trained individuals seeking permanent residence or H-1B visa sponsorship over U.S. workers.”
All 100-job ads were peppered with USCIS codes for work visas and permanent residency and all sought foreign nationals “currently working in the US.” One such ad posted to fill a job opening in Albuquerque, NM, contained the title, “Occupational Therapist-Seeking Green Card/Visa?" To fill a job opening in Burlington, VT, Avant posted another ad seeking "Physical Therapist - Visa Sponsored." In a third ad Avant’s job title read, "Seeking Foreign Trained PT"--for a job in Chicago, IL.
The Department of Justice has placed Avant Healthcare, located in Casselberry, Florida, under 3-year monitoring that allows the DOJ to conduct random audits on Avant Healthcare, inspect their offices, interview witnesses, examine business documents, and compel them to produce compliance reports. The DOJ will also investigate any further discriminatory complaints logged against them. "If your company is under a government monitor, this punishment feels like a 3 year colonoscopy,” said Briana Kim, an employment attorney in Long Beach, CA.
“This action by the DOJ restores our faith in the American Way, that what’s right overcomes might and common decency prevails,” said Conroy.
Avant Healthcare, both women-owned and a federal contractor, supplies healthcare staffing services to the General Services Administration, including 1500 Veterans Administration facilities nationwide, according to a 2009 company press release.
Shari Sandifer, CEO and founder of Avant Healthcare, “actively lobbies Congress for immigration reform to allow a consistent flow of highly skilled healthcare professionals, “ according to the company’s website.
“America, and Americans before her, created the opportunities she now enjoys. If Avant Healthcare can’t do business without discriminating against Americans, they should just close up shop,” demanded Conroy.
“But this is not the first time we’ve seen these discriminatory ads. Everyday there are hundreds of high-tech jobs ads excluding Americans—many for entry-level jobs with free training. These companies are stealing the opportunities for a bright future from talented Americans —announcing so right in their corporate want ads.” stated Conroy.
In July 2012, Bright Future Jobs targeted Dice.com, a U.S. high-tech job portal, demanding that they tear down want ads excluding Americans with the release of No Americans Need Apply, a report analyzing 100 such ads found on Dice. “While Dice publicly quibbled, someone at Dice was quietly tearing these ads,” explained Conroy. “Discriminatory want ads excluding Americans on Dice were reduced by two-thirds.”
Bright Future Jobs is pushing U.S. lawmakers to crack down on discriminatory job ads that target foreign workers. “We need to update EEO laws to prohibit visa terms in job ads and penalize job portals which publish them. Job ads should contain only job terms.”
Bright Future Jobs is also pushing lawmakers to add a statutory requirement that will force companies to consider Americans first before resorting to the H1-b program. “We must fix H1-b law to require that companies seek American talent first and hire equally, or better qualified Americans, before seeking foreign nationals for U.S. job openings. After all, that’s how companies have led us to believe the H1-b program works,” said Conroy.