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Group: Hundreds of Dice.com listings discriminate against US workers

Many ads on the IT job board say they're looking specifically for foreign workers, a US IT worker group says

IT job board Dice.com has hundreds of listings for jobs that aren't available to U.S. tech workers because the listings are aimed at foreign visa holders, said Bright Future Jobs, a group of high-tech professionals focused on encouraging U.S. IT workers.

Bright Future Jobs' new report, No Americans Need Apply, listed 100 job listings, posted between January and March, focused on hiring H-1B visa workers or other foreign workers, but those 100 job listings were just a sample of the hundreds of ads on Dice.com looking exclusively for foreign workers, said Donna Conroy, executive director of the group.

Bright Future Jobs is pushing U.S. lawmakers to crack down on job listings targeting only foreign workers. The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act generally prohibits employers from discriminating based on citizenship status during the hiring process, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

It doesn't make sense for U.S. IT companies to complain about a U.S. worker shortage when they aren't looking for U.S. employees, Conroy said. The ads are "clearly, unmistakenly saying, no Americans need apply," she said.

U.S. companies reached the 85,000-person cap for H-1B visa applications in early June this year, two months after the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service opened up applications.

A search on Dice.com Thursday found more than 300 job listings for OPT jobs. OPT stands for Optional Practical Training, a visa program for recent foreign graduates of U.S. colleges. There were more than 160 job listings for H-1B visa holders, and more than 200 listings for CPT (Curricular Practical Training) visa holders. CPT is a job program for foreign students enrolled at U.S. colleges.

Those types of ads are "discriminatory" against U.S. workers, Conroy said.

Dice.com said it works hard to police job ads. The site's terms of service prohibits job requirements that discriminate "on the basis of citizenship status or national origin."

The site has "zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind on our site, in recruiting practices and in the workplace," Tom Silver, Dice's senior vice president for North America, said in a statement. The site has more than 80,000 job ads on any one day, he said.

Dice employees search the site daily for discriminatory terms, Silver added. "In the rare instances that we find an advertisement that doesn't comply with our policies, we contact the employer or recruiter to have the ad removed promptly," he said. "If the employer or recruiter fails to comply, we remove the advertisement."

Several IT firms that placed ads referenced in the Bright Future Jobs report didn't immediately return email messages seeking comment.

Of the 100 job ads reviewed by Bright Future Jobs, 51 offered entry-level jobs. Many of those jobs were for programmers, Conroy said. Fifty-seven of the ads offered green cards, with permanent residency, with phrases like, "green card processing will start on first day of work." Sixty-eight ads offered H-1B visas.

"Plan ahead and Grab a H1B with a trusted Company," one ad said. "Great opportunity for OPT/ CPT. Immediate Green Card Processing."

Another ad: "We are looking for OPTs who are looking for jobs in Java." One ad said the OPT program was "required."

"Exclusively for OPT/CPT students," another ad said. "Here is a great opportunity for OPT, CPT, who like to pursue well paid professional jobs in information technology industry. Benefits of internship include Free training, Free accommodation and living expenses with stipend of $1000 per month. All categories of visa sponsorship. Accelerated Green Card processing."

Other ads promised full pay for "benched" H-1B visa holders, foreign workers who get H-1B visas through the advertising company but don't have an immediate job waiting for them.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's e-mail address is grant_gross@idg.com.


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