WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 10 that Barrios Street Realty LLC, a company in Lockport, Louisiana, will pay roughly $108,000 to 12 U.S. workers after allegations the company violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

Between 2014 and 2015, the company and its agent, Jorge Arturo Guerrero Rodriguez, allegedly failed to consider applicants for sheet metal roofer or laborer positions who were U.S. workers. Instead, the company attempted to fill all vacancies by using foreign workers hired under the H-2B visa program.

Barrios will pay $30,000 in civil penalties, as well as roughly $115,000 in back pay to U.S. workers denied employment.

“The Department of Justice will not tolerate employers misusing visa programs to discriminate against U.S. workers,” said acting assistant attorney general John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “We will vigorously prosecute claims against companies that place U.S. workers in a disfavored status.”

The Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), formerly known as the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the INA.

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