Under a settlement announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday, Honda Aircraft will pay a civil penalty of $44,626 for requiring job applicants to have a specific citizenship status to be considered for vacancies due to a “misunderstanding” of the requirements under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). ITAR regulates specific exports of defense articles and services and limits access to certain sensitive information to “U.S. persons,” which are defined as U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, asylees, and refugees.
Because of a misinterpretation of “U.S. persons” as meaning only “U.S. citizens,” Honda Aircraft inadvertently “refused to consider or hire certain work-authorized non-U.S. citizens because of their citizenship status, in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s (INA) anti-discrimination provision,” according to the DOJ.
The DOJ’s investigation determined that Honda Aircraft published at least 25 job postings that unlawfully required applicants to have a specific citizenship status to be considered for the vacancies between August 2015 and December 2016.
“Honda Aircraft fully cooperated with the DOJ investigation and, on its own initiative, proactively changed policies and procedures to ensure job postings complied with both trade compliance laws and the INA’s anti-discrimination provision,” it said in a statement. “Honda Aircraft is pleased the investigation has been resolved and remains dedicated to equal employment opportunity. Honda Aircraft does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based on any protected class, including, without limitation, immigration or citizenship status.”