Zoom Accused of Hiring Discrimination

The lawsuit alleges that Zoom improperly rejected an employment application due to the applicant's immigration status.

In July 2021, plaintiff Royer Ramirez Ruiz (who has valid work authorization obtained through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program) was contacted by a recruiter to discuss an engineering position at Zoom. In both this conversation and a subsequent one with the recruiter, Ramirez Ruiz allegedly confirmed that he was legally authorized to work in the U.S. and did not require sponsorship. Ramirez Ruiz had applied and was granted DACA status in 2012, protecting him from deportation and authorizing him to legally work in the U.S.

Later that July, Ramirez Ruiz claims he participated in a video call with another recruiter who indicated that he was ideal for the position. The recruiter allegedly inquired if Ramirez Ruiz required sponsorship to which he responded no. According to the lawsuit, the recruiter followed the question up by asking if Ramirez Ruiz was a U.S. citizen; upon answering that he was not, Ramirez Ruiz claims the recruiter then asked if he was a permanent resident. While only required to state he was legally authorized to work in the U.S., Ramirez Ruiz disclosed he was a DACA recipient. The recruiter allegedly replied that this scenario would warrant further investigation before his resume could be forwarded to the hiring manager.

The lawsuit claims that two days later, Ramirez Ruiz received an email from the recruiter stating that it "does not look like we can move forward due to immigration." The applicant claims he pursued the recruiter for additional information (since his DACA status had not impacted his employment opportunities in the past) but did not receive a response.

Provided Ramirez Ruiz's claims about legal employment authorization status were true and he was offered a position with the company, his Employment Authorization Document would have proven both his identity and work eligibility status in the U.S. While Ramirez Ruiz does not claim that Zoom's actions violated the document abuse provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), this case is a good reminder that employers are prohibited from questioning an employee's documents or responses if I-9 requirements are met.

Posted: October 26, 2021

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