On Monday, the Justice Department announced that J.E.T. Holding Co. Inc. had distributed $40,000 to nine United States citizens pursuant to a settlement with the Justice Department. The payments were distributed last week. They were a part of a January 17, 2017 settlement that resolves claims that the company discriminated against United States workers in favor of temporary visa workers, thus violating the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Justice Department found that from roughly January to June 2016, JET, which operates a restaurant in Saipan, frequently refused to hire qualified American workers and other work-authorized individuals for dishwasher positions, due to their citizenship status. Instead, JET filled those positions with temporary foreign visa workers. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, employers cannot hire temporary foreign visa workers over qualified U.S. workers based on citizenship.
Individuals born in Saipan are considered United States citizens. After the investigation was resolved, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the United States Attorney Office for the District of Guam worked together to identify individuals impacted by the alleged discrimination. The department found nine individuals that were eligible to receive back pay. JET distributed payments to them exhausting the $40,000 back pay fund established under the agreement. Additional details are available here.