A tech company that posted a 'whites only' job ad was ordered to pay $7.5K and give staff better training

A tech company that posted a 'whites only' job ad was ordered to pay $7.5K and give staff better training
  • Virginia tech services firm Arthur Grand posted a job ad seeking only white, US-born candidates.

  • The Justice Department found the ad violated the Immigration and Nationality Act.

  • The company must now pay a $7,500 fine and implement training to comply with federal laws.

The US Department of Justice has fined a Virginia-based tech company $7,500 after it posted a discriminatory job listing in March 2023 seeking only white candidates.

The DOJ secured the agreements with Arthur Grand Technologies Inc., an information technology services firm, earlier this month. The company is also required to give its employees comprehensive training on the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The job ad said it was after "only US-born citizens [white] who are local within 60 miles from Dallas, TX."

The ad quickly spread on social media, drawing widespread criticism.

The Justice Department said that the advertisement deterred qualified individuals, including US citizens born outside the US and non-US citizens, from applying.

Investigations by the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or OFCCP, found that a recruiter from the company's Indian subsidiary posted the job ad on Indeed.

Arthur Grand apologized and said that an employee added discriminatory language to the listing and published it without authorization.

"At Arthur Grand, we do not condone or engage in any type of discrimination based on race, color, or religion," the company said on LinkedIn.

It added: "We conducted an investigation and discovered that a new junior recruiter at our firm was responsible for the offending job posting. We have taken immediate action and terminated their employment for violating our policy."

The Justice Department determined that the ad violated the Immigration and Nationality Act by excluding eligible candidates based on citizenship status and national origin.

The Department of Labor also found that the job posting breached Executive Order 11246, which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating in employment decisions based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division called the incident "shameful."

As part of its settlement with the Justice Department, Arthur Grand will pay the US Treasury a civil penalty of $7,500 and implement comprehensive training for its staff on INA compliance.

The settlement also requires the company to revise its employment policies, which will be subject to ongoing monitoring.

The agreement with the Labor Department requires that Arthur Grand compensate individuals who filed complaints with the OFCCP.

"We are committed to holding federal contractors accountable for outrageous discriminatory practices like this advertisement," said Acting Director Michele Hodge of the OFCCP, per the DOJ.

Racial bias still plays a part in job hiring in the US.

Last month, Business Insider reported on a study that showed CVs with Black-sounding names are less likely to get callbacks.

AI tools are increasingly being integrated into hiring processes and were initially touted as a means to reduce bias. But AI is not exempt from echoing human racial bias.

OpenAI's ChatGPT over-selected Asian women candidates and under-selected Black men in a recent experiment, Bloomberg reported.

OpenAI told Bloomberg that recruiters can add their own safeguards against bias, such as stripping names from the screening process.

Arthur Grand didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

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