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Law Firm Required To Pay Over $100,000 In Penalties To Settle Discrimination Against Citizens And Authorized Workers

30 Aug

Neetu Chandak | Contributor

An international law firm will be required to pay $132,000 in penalties for discriminating based on citizenship, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Clifford Chance, an international law firm with its U.S. headquarters in New York, restricted staffing for 36 positions based on citizenship status between March 30, 2017 to at least July 7, 2017, the DOJ reported Wednesday.

An unnamed dual citizen affected by the hiring discrimination accused Clifford Chance of unfair immigration-related employment practices, according to the settlement agreement between the accuser and the law firm signed on Tuesday. The accusation was accepted by Immigration and Employee Rights on May 9, 2017.

Two other individuals were affected by the hiring practice as well.

The department found the law firm excluded non-U.S. citizen authorized workers and dual citizens due to a misunderstanding with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which does not require employers to hire only U.S citizens.

Employers who limit employment to U.S. citizens without proper evidence can violate a provision under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that forbids hiring discrimination on citizenship or national origin basis.

“Employers subject to the ITAR must be careful not to engage in unlawful discrimination against U.S. workers,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division said in a statement.

Not only does the firm have to pay civil penalties to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, but it also has to pay $750 to the dual citizen and $1,792 to another affected person, the settlement agreement said. The amount paid to the third person has yet to be decided.

“We are pleased to reach a settlement on this matter,” a spokesperson from Clifford Chance told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The response was also given to The National Law Journal.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that employers do not unlawfully exclude U.S. citizens and work authorized non-U.S. citizens from employment opportunities,” Gore said, the DOJ reported.