Justice Department targets Saipan restaurant for alleged discrimination against U.S. job applicants

By Mark Iandolo | Dec 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Dec. 4 that JET Holding Co. Inc. (JET) has paid $40,000 to nine citizens after allegedly violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

JET operates a restaurant in Saipan, the largest island of the Northern Marianas, a U.S. territory. Individuals born there are U.S. citizens. Saipan’s population includes work-authorized lawful permanent residents, asylees and refugees. 

According to allegations, JET routinely refused to hire U.S. citizens and other work-authorized individuals for dishwasher roles at its restaurant. Instead, the company allegedly hired temporary foreign visa workers. The INA dictates employers cannot make a pattern of hiring foreign visa workers over available and qualified U.S. workers. The Justice Department said the pattern occurred between January-June 2016.

“We are pleased that U.S. workers received back pay to compensate them for the discrimination they faced, and that JET has worked to improve its hiring practices,” said John M. Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division.  “The Justice Department is committed to holding employers accountable when they place U.S. workers in a second-class status.”

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