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Georgia on my fines: Top tech uni charged with discrimination

Renowned IT research institute Georgia Tech has been fined for discriminating against non US citizens in its job fairs

Geogia Tech, a US university renowned for producing top cybersecurity professionals, has been charged with discrimination against immigrants.

The US Department of Justice says that the university has been letting companies post job ads that were specifically aimed at US citizens and actively excluded those who did not have citizenship.

"The department’s investigation began after a student at Georgia Tech, who was a lawful permanent resident, filed a discrimination complaint with the Civil Rights Division. The student alleged that a bank advertised a U.S. citizen-only internship on Georgia Tech’s career services website," the DOJ said.

"Upon investigating the student’s complaint, the department uncovered additional unlawful discriminatory advertisements on Georgia Tech’s job recruiting platform that discouraged or restricted certain non-US citizen students from applying."

To settle the case, Georgia Tech agreed to pay $500,000 in fines and reform its recruiting program in compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act and stop letting companies advertise jobs as being exclusive to US citizens.

The case is particularly relevant because Georgia Tech (formally known as the Georgia Institute of Technology) has rightfully earned a reputation for itself as a top research and training institute for technology and in particular information security.

Least we think this is letting the recruiting companies off the hook, the feds say they have fined at least 30 companies for illegal discrimination on the Georgia Tech portal and those fines have tallied up to $1.5m.

Rather, the issue federal prosecutors had was with the university for enabling the discriminatory hiring practices.

In announcing the settlement, the DOJ noted that part of the problem was due to the rules the school had allowed companies to place when they were putting up their job advertisements.

In this case, Georgia Tech had not actively discriminated against non-US citizens but had told their recruiting partners that it was okay to do so.

"This agreement is another example of the Civil Rights Division's efforts to address the impact that automated platforms, specifically ones that provide users with tools and filters that enable unlawful restrictions, have on civil rights," the DOJ said.