WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced April 20 that Themesoft Inc. (Themesoft), a consulting and staffing company in the technology industry based in Texas, will pay civil penalties to resolve allegations it violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). 

According to the Justice Department, Themesoft refused to refer an asylum seeker's application to a client because the asylee was not a lawful permanent resident, U.S. citizen or H-1B visa holder. Alleged conduct of this nature amounts to discrimination based on citizenship status. 

The Justice Department notes that asylum seekers have permanent work authorization, just like citizens, nationals, refugees, and lawful permanent residents. Employers cannot limit their jobs based on citizenship status unless they have a specific legal reason for their actions. 

“The department vigorously protects all workers from citizenship status discrimination when employers have no legal basis for their actions,” John Gore, acting assistant attorney general of the Civil Rights Division, said in a statement. “This settlement also serves as a reminder that the INA’s anti-discrimination provision extends to companies that refer workers to third party clients, and that all employers should be mindful of their compliance obligations.”

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