Can Employers Discriminate Against Americans? [POLICYbrief]
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Can Employers Discriminate Against Americans? [POLICYbrief]


The recent lawsuit brought by the Department
of Justice has to do with a company that is based in Loveland, Colorado, and the Department
of Justice is suing the company because they believe that it is unfairly discriminating
against US citizens, and preferring to hire seasonal workers who happen not to be citizens. The Immigration and Nationalities Act governs
immigration policy in the US, but the relevant part of the act that is involved in this particular
suit, has to do with a prohibition against discriminating against an employee based on
that person’s national origin, or their citizenship status. And it was originally passed, primarily to
protect people who did not have US citizenship from being discriminated against because they
lacked that citizenship. The Trump Administration is using it in this
particular case to file suit on behalf of people who are US citizens and believe that
they are being discriminated against because the company is hiring temporary workers who
are not US citizens. What the law says is that, uh, a company can
prefer to hire a citizen as long as the citizen has equal qualification to the non-citizen. In other words, there can be a preference
for citizens, but they have to have equal qualifications. The one area that seems to me to have the
most merit, in this case, is that were different rules applied to the two groups. And they use a type of visa in the agricultural
field called an H2A, which has to go through the Labor Department, the Labor Department
has to certify that in fact there is a need for these workers because Americans cannot
be found to do the jobs. In this particular instance, there are three
Americans, US citizens, who apparently applied for the jobs and were turned down. They were also subjected to more onerous kinds
of requirements: they had to pass a drug test, they had to pass a background check. And so the allegation of the Justice Department
is that this Loveland-based company is in fact discriminating. I have served on the board of directors of
the largest chicken manufacturer, at the time, in the United States. Uh, and we hired a lot of foreign-born workers,
they were not primarily seasonal workers, but the reason we hired them is that we couldn’t
find Americans to do those jobs, and it is hard to find Americans who are willing to
do some of these very, very difficult jobs. That’s not what you spent all those years
getting an education for. And that’s why we have foreign workers coming
in, for whom those jobs are a step up, and provide a future for themselves and their
children, whether it’s back in their country of origin, or whether or not those families
come with them here. The best argument, I think, on behalf of it
is that you have three individuals, they happen to be Hispanic by the way, but they’re US
citizens, and they claim that the-they were asked to take drug tests and to undergo a
criminal background check and that the people who actually got the jobs were not. Whatever the rules are, they have to apply equally
to everyone. So I think that’s the, the government’s
best argument. The best argument on behalf of the Colorado
company is they know best who’s going to work out as an employee. So long as they are not intentially discriminating against
someone based solely on their citizenship status, that would seem to be good enough. Government is not in a position to tell employers
whom to hire, and not to hire.

11 Comments

  • jordan walter

    Used to work in chicken houses, oh god, the birds, the birds… and don't eat chicken anymore. Argument makes sense though

  • themeatt625

    I'm glad the administration is taking this tact. If you want laws that favor some groups over others you deserve to have the tables turned on you.
    As for the argument that Americans won't work these jobs, that's just bullshit. I'm surrounded for hundreds of miles by farms, orchards and dairies. They will not here American laborers period. The overhead cost of employing a legal citizen is prohibitive especially when illegal workers are at hand.
    If you can't find applicants for a job you need done, raise the wage until you can, or at least remove the minimum wage so applicants can bid down.

  • Maria Smith

    I am delighted that the government is suing them. We do n ot need these people undermining US wages. Now you know why Democrast are so beloved by the wealthy and big business. The cheap labor.

  • cjmerobot

    It is against the law to hire individuals who broke the law by entering this country illegally. People will work at jobs that pay fair salaries.

  • PepperCock

    Ya difficult jobs for low wages. Let’s hire people that have no skills. I work for a dairy that uses these tactics every day. There are plenty of Americans that will work for these farms but not for stupid low wages. I guess I am lucky to have my dairy jobs but i don’t take no shit from my psychopath jew boss.

  • Metal Head

    I Hire Americans I Hire Veterans must RESPECT our Police & Military I only use American made chemicals and I only play classic rock or country music I won't change for nobody

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