The U.S. Department of Justice reached an agreement with Calabasas, Calif.-based ValleyCrest Landscape Cos. to resolve charges of hiring discrimination against U.S. citizens and other work-authorized domestic workers at its Virginia locations.
Under the agreement, ValleyCrest will modify its hiring policy to extend significantly the time period during which it will recruit U.S. workers for jobs that would otherwise be filled with H-2B temporary visa holders. Specifically, ValleyCrest will recruit and hire domestic workers up until two weeks before H-2B workers are scheduled to begin work. It has also made other changes to its personnel practices and will provide full back pay of $11,173 to a U.S. citizen who applied for but was not given a job.
“Every individual who is authorized to work in this country has the right to know they will be free from discrimination, and that they will be on the same playing field as every other applicant or worker,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
The charges were filed by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition (MAROC) of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.
ValleyCrest issued the following statement: “After a thorough investigation by the Justice Department, it was determined that an isolated incident had occurred involving one individual. Full compliance with all immigration and related laws as well as proper hiring training practices are important matters for ValleyCrest and we will continue to make them top priorities.”