Myrtle Beach housekeeping company chose foreign workers over US applicants

Ocean Boulevard looking north in Myrtle Beach on Aug. 13.
Ocean Boulevard looking north in Myrtle Beach on Aug. 13. jbell@thesunnews.com

A Myrtle Beach area housekeeping service has reached a settlement after a U.S. Department of Justice investigation revealed the business preferred to hire temporary foreign employees instead of United States workers, according to a release.

The investigation found Palmetto Beach Hospitality LLC, a company that provides housekeeping services to Myrtle Beach area hotels, did not consider applications from qualified U.S. workers, the release said, even though employers are required to recruit and hire available and qualified U.S. workers before receiving permission to hire temporary foreign employees.

The DOJ found that after ignoring applications from U.S. citizens, the company told the U.S. Department of Labor that it could not find qualified U.S. workers and then obtained authorization to employ temporary visa workers.

Failing to consider or hire qualified U.S. citizens based on their citizenship status violates the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Palmetto Beach Hospitality, under the settlement, must “engage in several types of enhanced recruiting and job advertising efforts to attract qualified U.S. workers, far beyond those required by the H-2B visa rules,” a release said. The company must also set aside $35,000 to pay any wages lost by U.S. workers who applications it improperly rejected or ignored, pay $42,000 in civil penalties and be subject to departmental monitoring.

This investigation was the DOJ’s fourth settlement protecting U.S. workers from discrimination, according to a release.

Hannah Strong: 843-444-1765, @HannahLStrong