Increased Efforts to Protect U.S. Workers from Discrimination

Several government agencies have announced “enhanced efforts” to protect U.S. workers and encourage employers to hire U.S. citizens whenever possible. These include notices from the U.S. Department of Justice, which introduced the “Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative” in February, as well as the U.S. Department of Labor, which announced protections for U.S. workers “from discrimination in connection with the hiring of foreign workers”. Additional initiatives are in the works, and it is recommended that employers review current policies.

Below please find examples of these announcements, as compiled by JDSupra:

U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”): In February 2017, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division launched its “Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative.” This initiative is aimed at targeting, investigation, and bringing enforcement actions against employers that discriminate against U.S. workers in favor of foreign workers.

U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”): In April 2017, the DOL announced plans to protect U.S. workers from discrimination in connection with the hiring of foreign workers through the H-1B program. The DOL promised to use its existing authority to investigate H-1B program violators, to consider making changes to the required labor condition application process, and to engage stakeholders as to how the H-1B program might be changed to improve protections for H-1B workers.

U.S. Department of State (“DOS”): In October 2017, DOJ and DOS announced that they have formalized an information sharing partnership aimed at protecting U.S. workers from discrimination and combatting fraud by employers in their use of visa programs to employ foreign workers.

For more details on the various initiatives and announcements, please click here.