Job ads, lawsuit show US companies discriminating against Americans

Unless the government changes the rules to aid American students and graduates who want to work in the high-tech sectors, “American technology workers will just be wiped out,” said John Miano, a New Jersey lawyer and former programmer and board member of the Programmers Guild.

Some U.S.-based companies are discriminating against job-seeking American professionals and instead hiring job-hopping guest workers, including foreigners enrolled in colleges or holding H-1B visas.

The skewed hiring is visible in numerous online help-wanted ads, and in a legal settlement won this month by the Justice Department.

The ads use keywords — typically “OPT,” “CPT” or “H-1B” — to attract the attention of guest workers, while deterring applications by unemployed American professionals who normally search for conventional keywords, such as “software engineer,” “nurse,” “writer” or lawyer.”

“It’s discrimination,” said Donna Conroy, the executive director of Bright Future Jobs, a nonprofit trying to aid U.S. workers.

The underlying cause of the discrimination, she said, is that many U.S.-based immigrant entrepreneurs prefer to hire workers and foreign students from their home countries.

The problem is widespread, she said, because many of the discriminating companies are now doing work that was outsourced by the major companies that have laid off many Americans.


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