Who is the Named Plaintiff
Plaintiff David Rodriguez is a 34-year-old Venezuelan national presently residing in Miami, Florida. Mr. Rodriguez was a part-time college student at Florida International University (“FIU”), who graduated on May 2017. He majored in business administration, with concentrations in finance and real estate, and minored in economics, graduating summa cum laude with a 3.96 GPA
Around September 2013, Mr. Rodriguez attended an on-campus information session at FIU advertising P&G’s internship program. Eduardo Moreno, a P&G recruiter and FIU alumnus, and Jose Nuñez, an FIU student who had completed a P&G internship and worked as a company Campus Ambassador, hosted the information session. During the session, both men encouraged students to apply for the program, by demonstrating how to fill in the online application on P&G’s career website and inviting them to send Mr. Moreno their resumes for review. Along with other attendees to the information session, Mr. Rodriguez provided his contact information to Mr. Nunez.
As instructed, Mr. Rodriguez sent Mr. Moreno his resume, expressed his desire for a P&G internship, and requested input on his resume. A few days later, Mr. Moreno emailed Mr. Rodriguez with some pointers for his resume. After receiving Mr. Moreno’s input, Mr. Rodriguez went to P&G’s career website, selected an internship application for P&G’s Finance and Accounting Department, uploaded his resume, and answered the company’s pre-screening questionnaire.
The pre-screening questionnaire included four questions about immigration status: 1) Are you currently a U.S. citizen or national, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, OR a refugee, OR an individual granted asylum, OR admitted for residence as an applicant under the 1986 immigration amnesty law? 2) Are you an individual admitted exclusively on a nonimmigrant visa, such as B, H, O, E, TN or L or an individual on the F-1 visa completing CPT (Curricular Practical Training) or OPT (Optional Practical Training)? 3) Are you an individual who is now completing the permanent residency process but has not yet been granted permanent residency? 4) Will you now, or in the future, require sponsorship for U.S. employment visa status (e.g., H-1B or permanent residency status)?
Mr. Rodriguez correctly responded “No” to each of the above questions. He completed the rest of the pre-screening questionnaire and submitted it to P&G through its website.
After failing to receive instructions for the next step of the application process, Mr. Rodriguez contacted Mr. Moreno and Mr. Nunez and inquired about his application status. Mr. Moreno responded by first instructing Mr. Rodriguez to re-submit his application after correcting his graduation dates.
Mr. Rodriguez revised his online application and emailed P&G’s Recruitment Team on October 3, 2013, explaining his need to revise his graduation date. He also requested clarification of the company’s immigration status criteria. Mr. Rodriguez’s email explained that he possessed a valid work permit and did not need employer sponsorship to work lawfully in the United States.
A day or two later, P&G denied Mr. Rodriguez’s internship application. Mr. Rodriguez emailed Mr. Moreno and asked him why P&G had rejected his application. Mr. Moreno told Mr. Rodriguez in an email that he was not eligible to be hired because, “per P&G policy, applicants in the U.S. should be legally authorized to work with no restraints on the type, duration, or location of employment.”
In addition to P&G’s immigration status screening questionnaire and Mr. Moreno’s statement regarding P&G’s policy and/or practice, some P&G job postings specifically warn under the “Qualifications” section that “[c]andidates must be a U.S. citizen or national, refugee, asylee or lawful permanent resident.”