H-1B Only Job Ad Posters Accused of Discrimination

By Deborah Rothberg  |  Posted 2006-06-20

The Programmers Guild, an IT worker interest group, has filed 300 discrimination complaints so far this year against companies alleged to have posted "H-1B visa holders only" ads on job boards.

"Abuse of the H-1B program has become so widespread that companies apparently feel free to engage openly in the practice. And we are only reviewing ads for computer programmers," Programmers Guild founder John Miano said in a statement June 19.

The actions have been filed with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Special Council for Immigration-Related discrimination, contending that specific employers have created "Americans need not apply" job postings on both Monster.com and Dice.com.

These job ads are accused of disregarding the Immigration and Nationality Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against U.S. workers on the basis of immigration status.

Miano cites examples from postings on Dice.com and Monster.com in a release, with lines such as "We require candidates for H1B from India" and "We sponsor GC [green card] and we do prefer H1B holders."

Several of the ads included free training and interview preparation, according to the complaint, while others included more flagrantly illegal maneuvers.

"We have postings for arrangements where the employee finds his own work and the employer takes a cut of the earnings. Many high-tech companies obtaining H-1B visas operate out of apartments and Mailboxes Etc.," said Miano.

Miano said he considers the offers to teach foreigners particularly offensive in light of the fact that nearly half the money collected from H-1B visa fees is given to training programs to bring U.S. workers skills up to speed.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service announced June 1 that the 65,000 H-1B visa supply has been exhausted for the 2007 fiscal year, four months before new ones would be made available.

This news came on the heels of the U.S. Senate passing the immigration reform bill May 25, which included a provision to raise the H-1B visa cap to 115,000 from 65,000.

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