IBM has agreed to pay $44,400 in fines to resolve claims by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) that some of its online job postings favoured foreign employees with temporary working visas over US citizens.
According to the DoJ, the software firm placed certain online job postings for application and software developers that reserved citizenship status preferences for F-1 and H-1B temporary visa holders.
US Civil Rights Division assistant attorney general Jocelyn Samuels said that employers must give all eligible candidates equal opportunity to compete for employment.
"The department is committed to ensuring employers do not unlawfully discriminate against US citizens and other work-authorised individuals based on their citizenship status," Samuels said.
IBM has also agreed to modify its hiring and recruiting processes and guide its human resources personnel to comply with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), and to be subject to reporting needs for a period of two years.
The settlement agreement said that the DoJ had reasonable cause to believe IBM committed breaches between April 2009 and February 2013.
According to the DoJ, even though IBM's job postings were for positions requiring the successful applicant to relocate overseas, the anti-discrimination provision of the INA would not allow employers to express a preference for temporary visa holders over US workers.