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Tech firm fined for ‘whites only’ job ad


May 30, 2024: A Virginia-based tech company will pay thousands of dollars in fines for a job posting that requested “whites only” to apply. The Justice and Labor departments have fined minority-owned federal contractor Arthur Grand Technologies Inc. a civil penalty of $7,500. Additionally, the departments ordered the company to pay $31,000 overall to 31 people who complained about the posting.

Arthur Grand Technologies Inc., an IT services firm, reached separate agreements with the U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Labor over these allegations. The issues arose from a job advertisement posted in March 2023, which specified that only “US Born Citizens [white]” living within 60 miles of Dallas, TX, could apply. This advertisement led to charges of violating both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and Executive Order 11246.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division criticized the discriminatory nature of the advertisement, stating, “It is shameful that in the 21st century, we continue to see employers using ‘whites only’ and ‘only US born’ job postings to lock out otherwise eligible job candidates of color.” The Justice Department found that Arthur Grand’s job posting deterred eligible candidates, including U.S. citizens born outside the United States and certain non-U.S. citizens, from applying.

Michele Hodge, Acting Director of the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), emphasized that federal contractors must adhere to non-discriminatory hiring practices, saying, “Companies like Arthur Grand, that accept federal contracts, cannot have a ‘whites only’ hiring process.”

Investigations by the Civil Rights Division and the OFCCP revealed that the discriminatory job ad was posted by a recruiter from Arthur Grand’s subsidiary in India. The ad was for a business analyst position with clients HTC Global and Berkshire Hathaway, and it quickly spread across social media and news outlets.

Despite the findings, Arthur Grand Technologies CEO Sheik Rahmathullah stated in an email to CNN, “Arthur Grand Technologies vehemently denies any guilt or wrongdoing in relation to the discriminatory job posting that appeared in March 2023.” He told NPR that the job posting was by a rogue employee.

As part of the settlement with the Justice Department, Arthur Grand will pay a civil penalty and train its staff on the INA’s anti-discrimination requirements. Additionally, the company must revise its employment policies and undergo departmental monitoring.

In the agreement with the Labor Department, Arthur Grand will compensate individuals who filed complaints and provide specific workplace training for employees involved in recruiting and hiring.

These actions underscore the commitment of both the Justice Department and the Department of Labor to enforce federal civil rights laws and protect workers from discriminatory practices.

Cover photo credit: Department of Labor website.

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