April 4 (UPI) -- The Justice Department warned employers seeking H-1B visas to avoid discriminating against qualified American workers.
The message Monday came at the start of the fiscal year and the beginning of government acceptance of H-1B visa petitions. The visas are typically used by technology firms to temporarily hire specialized workers from outside the United States. Employers violate the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act if they take citizenship or national origin into account in hiring, firing and recruiting practices, or otherwise discount U.S. workers with hiring practices favoring H-1B visa holders.
"The Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against U.S. workers," acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division said in a statement. "U.S. workers should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting these claims."